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CIH DISMAYED BY HOME SECRETARY'S COMMENTS

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The Chartered Institute of Housing is dismayed by comments made by the home secretary, Jack Straw, in an interview ...
The Chartered Institute of Housing is dismayed by comments made by the home secretary, Jack Straw, in an interview in the New Statesman (April 3) in which he is reported to have said housing problems won't be solved by spending money.

CIH president Brian Fairclough has written to the home secretary pointing out why investment is vital and inviting dialogue on the issue. The CIH, long-time campaigners on the state of disrepair of the UK's houses, is determined to highlight housing issues with all relevant government departments. In the case of the home office, the CIH is keen to establish the link between housing and crime - a point apparently overlooked in the interview.

Estimates of the backlog of council house disrepair is in the order of£18-20 billion. A further three million private homes are in need of urgent repair. Over 50,000 new households formed each year cannot afford to buy a home. All these issues require money.

Mr Fairclough said: 'The institute works to devise and promote higher standards of housing management. But better management alone will not solve the problems of disrepair, poor design and insufficient affordable housing.

'There is a duty to improve conditions for the 12 million people who live in council houses. How can these issues be tackled without adequate resources? It has to be recognised that poor housing is a money loser.'
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