Council House Campaign
August 26, 2019
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TV presenter and architect George Clarke has received incredible support in his quest for more council houses to be built. The Right to Buy scheme, initiated in the 1980’s, has allowed millions of council houses to be sold off, which have not been replaced at the same rate. This has left over 1 million people on council house waiting lists. Well designed, affordable council houses are urgently needed. George feels that the government should commit to building 100,000 council houses per year over the next 30 years,and has started a petition to help do just that.
He says “I’m proud to have been raised on a thriving council estate in the 1970s. My neighbourhood was a fantastic place to grow up and everyone was proud of their council-owned homes. This country’s obsession with home ownership over the last 40 years has created real stigma around rented council housing – and it breaks my heart.”
George’s petition marks the centenary of the ‘Addison Act’ introduced in 1919, which gave local councils the power to build thousands of new properties. Momentum slowed over the years however, resulting in the current situation. Many young couples, despite being hard working, cannot afford to buy a home in the area they desire or where they were raised. This makes retaining family ties difficult as well as a variety of other problems.
The housing crisis has become a priority for people like George Clarke, who grew up on a council estate in the north east, and who now lives in a ex council flat in London. So far George has been overwhelmed by the response, and his petition has over 220,000 signatures and counting. The aim of the petition according to George, is for the country to ‘remember the true value of council housing and restore it to a place of pride’. To add your signature and help to change things click here.