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HOUSING GREEN PAPER: NO SUBSTITUTE FOR MORE AFFORDABLE HOMES

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The Town and Country Planning Association welcomed the recent publication of the government Green Paper on Housing....
The Town and Country Planning Association welcomed the recent publication of the government Green Paper on Housing. The association has long campaigned for affordable housing to be given a high political priority and is pleased to see the government consultation paper.

The TCPA is particularly pleased to see the prospect of additional resources being made available for housing and the possibility of further tax reform to assist repair and renovation of privately rented accommodation, some of which is in very poor condition.

Commenting on the transfer of council housing to housing associations and other providers, Graeme Bell, director of the TCPA said: 'For some years local authorities have been working in partnership with housing associations, the better to manage the housing stock. Greater encouragement for such partnerships, backed by access to additional resources, must be a good thing for cash-strapped councils.'

Bell continued: 'The proposal to offer soft loans to key workers, such as nurses and teachers, is welcomed. However, unless there are clear guidelines, local authorities will need to exercise the judgement of Solomon in deciding who should benefit. Further, there are many low-paid workers who will feel that they should also qualify. Some of these people may have worked in the public sector, before their jobs were moved into private companies.'

'There is no substitute for a good supply of affordable housing, both to rent and to buy', continued Bell. 'That is why we must continue to campaign for realism in the numbers of new homes to be provided through Regional Planning Guidance. In the hot spots where there are high market prices, a good proportion of the new homes should be available to people on low incomes.'
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