“Thousands of homeless children are growing up in cheaply converted shipping containers and cramped rooms in former office blocks; 130,000 families in England are being crammed into one-bedroom flats; and social housing residents of a block of flats in east London engulfed in flames say they are being forced to move back despite safety fears.
These are just a few recent examples of how the UK housing crisis is affecting the country’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens. But how much notice is the prime minister, Boris Johnson, taking?
He has made spending pledges for the NHS and police, but there is little to suggest Johnson will address the UK’s shortage of truly affordable homes for rent. Housing expert Colin Wiles points out that during Johnson’s two terms as London mayor, he redefined the term “affordable” in 2011 to mean rents of up to 80% of market rents – extremely expensive in the capital. “Johnson’s philosophy, in a nutshell, is that homeowners mean Tory voters and social housing means Labour voters,” says Wiles. “Johnson in No 10 signals a gloomy outlook.” …”