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Christian charity urges Government to re-think housing strategy

Fri 11 Mar 2016
By Hannah Tooley

A Christian housing charity says the Government needs to re-think its housing plans. 

Alison Gelder, Chief Executive of Housing Justice was speaking on Premier's News Hour after the Labour party said that thousands of low income workers could be priced out of their council homes in England because of Government reforms.

Ministers want households with incomes of £30,000 - and £40,000 in London - to pay the market rental rate.

She told Premier this has the potential to negatively affect a range of people: "It would mean that there is a lot of pressure on households once teenagers start earning income, if they go out to work - and if it suddenly increases the household income then that would be they would be subject to this."

Labour has claimed that nurses, teachers, manual workers and shop assistants will be among those penalised.

Alison Gelder, went on to say that the government has amended it slightly though: "One of the things that they've said is if a household is already getting housing benefit - so if the Government is already subsidising their rent payment - and they recognise that even on a council rent they can't afford it, then they will be exempt."

She told Premier she thought the figure needed to be much higher "£80,000 is about the amount you need to be earning of a household to be able to comfortably afford one of the new starter homes to make home-ownership more affordable, so it feels like it should be linked to that somehow - rather than setting it at what feels like quite a low level for London families."

Listen to Premier's Alex Williams speak to Alison Gelder here:

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