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MAJOR REVIEW OF HOUSING POLICY UNDERWAY

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Liberal Democrats are conducting a comprehensive review of their housing policy and will be starting the public sid...
Liberal Democrats are conducting a comprehensive review of their housing policy and will be starting the public side of their work at a consultation session at the party's spring conference in Southport on 19 March.

The review is being undertaken by a working party chaired by Richard Kemp, the party's housing spokesperson at the Local Government Association and a long-standing councillor from Liverpool. Joining him in the working group are representatives from all parts of the party including Edward Davey MP and Baroness Diana Maddock.

Mr Kemp said: 'For too long housing has been off the political agenda. Any previous debate has been about quantity and not quality; about buildings rather than the people who live in them; about estates rather than communities and neighbourhoods.

'We must look instead at affordability, liveability and sustainability:

-Markets must be made to work to deliver the basic human right of a home that meets people's needs to all except a minority of people whose needs will be rightly met by the state. The question of affordability is tearing apart families and communities. If the market is to be the way to provide housing we must enhance access to it especially by young people and those less well off.

-Housing should be placed within human scale neighbourhoods where there is an appropriate balance of tenure and demography to help build a community. For too long we have built segregation into our housing and planning delivery which has proved to be a major cause of social exclusion;

-Neighbourhoods created should cause as little impact on the environment as possible by linking housing provision to wider strands of energy, transport and ecological sustainability policies. We still build far too many homes with poor insulation, high energy use, poor use of grey water and with poor public transport links;

We will be sending our consultation document (available her e) to housing groups and to interested groups to actively seek debate.

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