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Row over Sunak’s ‘British Homes for British People’ proposal

A newspaper claims that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wants British families to be given higher priority for social housing.

Implicitly this may mean those not prioritised for social housing becoming increasingly reliant on private renting.

The Guardian today claims that the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will launch a consultation on a proposal in the near future which will be badged as “British homes for British workers”.


Government figures suggest 10 per cent of existing social housing households are led by Britons, although the proportion varies widely in different areas.

Currently local authorities allocate social housing on need with priority for those homeless or living in overcrowded or squalid conditions. Refugees are allowed social housing, but anyone not entitled to benefits is not, meaning most foreigners in the UK are already excluded.

It is not known which government minister will champion this measure - The Guardian suggests Housing Secretary Michael Gove did not adopt the proposal when it was put to him some months ago.

The Guardian also says there is anger in some parts of government that the measure could fuel support for the more right wing Reform UK party at the upcoming General Election.

The newspaper quotes Shelter chief executive Polly Neate as saying: “This policy amounts to nothing more than scapegoating at its worst. It is unnecessary, unenforceable and unjust. 

“Not only does it ignore the fact that there are already stringent rules so only UK citizens or those with settled status can access homes for social rent, but it blames a group of people for a housing emergency that they did not create.

“For decades, we’ve lost more social homes than we’ve built, leaving us with a huge shortage and condemning homeless families to years on a waiting list with no hope of a stable home. 

“If the government wants to do something that would genuinely tackle the housing emergency, there’s a clear solution – we need to build 90,000 social homes a year.”

You can see The Guardian article in full here

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