More affordable homes needed for St Albans district, meeting hears

A unanimous verdict that many more homes needed to be built emerged from a recent housing meeting.

Organised by former St Albans MP Kerry Pollard, it was held on the same day as the Housing and Planning Bill was being debated in the House of Commons.

Entitled Housing - Where Next, the audience comprised housing professionals and local people who had housing problems themselves.

Introducing the meeting Kerry said: “There can be a direct correlation between providing homes and reviving the economy; building 300,000 homes would add 6% to GDP, each home built providing two jobs.

“Building genuinely affordable homes could also reduce the housing benefit bill currently standing at £25B - and not one brick laid for all that expenditure.”

Contributions also came from Tina Barnard, chief executive of Watford Community Homes, who spoke about difficulties with planning, former chief executive of Cooperative Housing, David Rodgers, who touched on deep cuts in local government grants and Andrew Dixon, policy offer of The Federation of Master Builders who talked about the difficulty securing backing from the banks and attracting and keeping skilled tradespeople.