Greenwich Lib Dems question local Labour MPs Efford, Pearce and Pennycook over key housing vote

Greenwich Borough Lib Dems condemn local Labour MPs Clive Efford, Teresa Pearce and Matt Pennycook for absenting themselves on a vote to give every family the stability and dignity of a decent home.

A Liberal Democrat motion on February 9th called for a series of reasonable, common sense solutions to the housing crisis to increase the availability of quality housing. Sadly our local Labour MPs refused to put partisan politics aside to support working families.

New research by the Liberal Democrats shows that, at current rates, house prices in London will rise by over 250% by 2026.

Stewart Christie, Greenwich Lib Dems Chair, said, "Housing is not about bricks and mortar, it’s about people.  It’s wrong that so many people are being priced out of the communities they grew up in. And it's not just a few people - the problem is real, and it's widespread. So seeing our local MPs not even bothered to turn up for such an important vote is a real kick in the teeth to local families.

"The country faces a severe housing crisis in which ordinary people cannot afford to rent, let alone buy, their own home. Unfortunately, the Government's proposals simply will not address the problems that are faced, particularly here in Greenwich Borough.

"We need homes that are genuinely affordable, and that includes properties not just to buy but also to rent. The Government must also act to ensure that these properties do not simply end up becoming second homes, exacerbating the housing problems which many people in our area already face."

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron added:  “The Liberal Democrats will keep working to make this a priority.

“The Government needs to seriously tackle the housing crisis and that means building more affordable homes, not selling off the existing stock of social housing."

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The Liberal Democrat motion, "Housing for Young People", read as follows:

"That this House believes everyone deserves a decent, affordable home to live in; regrets that many young people are priced out of the communities in which they grew up due to rising house prices and rents; acknowledges the important work achieved by the Coalition Government in implementing Help to Buy, bringing empty homes back into use and increasing support for self-build; notes with concern the Conservative Government’s housing reforms which will lead to fewer new affordable homes for rent and the breakdown in communities by selling off affordable homes and replacing them elsewhere; recognises the need for a huge increase in the supply of homes due to decades of undersupply by successive Governments; notes that an increase in apprenticeships and other skills training within the construction industry is required to meet that need; further notes the particular challenges of affordable housing in rural areas; notes the failure of Scottish and Welsh Governments in meeting the housing needs of young people; notes that the average cost of a home in London is now over £500,000; further notes the benefits of building sustainable homes; and calls on the Government to lift the borrowing cap for councils to borrow for house-building, to endorse Caroline Pidgeon’s plan to convert the Olympic precept into funding 200,000 new homes in London, and to set out a long term housing plan which ensures there are enough affordable homes for young people to rent and buy in the communities where they live."


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