'We got it wrong on housing', Labour admits
Monday 14th February 2011
All three main political parties appear to be acknowledging that they are completely at sea over the housing market.
Civil servants in the Communities and Local Government department are to carry out a review of the private housing market, whilst Labour is also to carry out one of its own after admitting that it failed the market during its administration.
The Coalition Government review will be led not by housing minister Grant Shapps but by Oliver Letwin.
A CLG adviser confirmed that housing policy is being reviewed, but did not say which policies are being looked at.
Richard Capie, deputy chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, told ‘Inside Housing’ magazine that he understands the review is looking at house building and the state of the housing market.
“With housing markets in such a fragile state, it is positive news that the Government is willing to look in detail at what are fundamental and systemic problems,” he said.
Meanwhile, not to be outdone, Labour's review of the housing market is to be led by Caroline Flint, shadow CLG secretary and – briefly – one of Labour’s many former housing ministers.
Labour’s review is to be called ‘How do we meet families’ aspirations for good housing and a good home?’
The year-long review will examine all aspects of housing and housing benefit policy, but it has not been made known whether it will look at the Home Information Packs shambles.
Labour's review comes as shadow welfare secretary Liam Byrne has admitted the Labour government failed the housing sector while in power.
Byrne, who will work on the review, said: “We just do not think we did a good enough job on housing.”
Other members of the panel include shadow housing minister Alison Seabeck.
Interim results are due this summer.
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