A question for the housing minister
We attended a lecture given by Housing minister John Healy last night as part of the New Thinking for Britain’s Next Decade series, run by Labour Progressives. As often seems to be the case with discussions about housing there was plenty of talk about both public and private rented accommodation but nothing about shared accommodation. Luckily there was a short amount of time at the end for questions so I asked the minister why we didn’t hear about shared accommodation as an option and, with this in mind, did he agree with the call to raise the Rent a Room Scheme threshold to help people avoid repossession whilst sending a positive message about shared accommodation as an option.
Mr. Healey replied that one of the things he liked about these meetings was that there was always something he wasn’t expecting to hear about – in this case shared accommodation – and asked for more information. Luckily we were prepared and had a copy of our briefing document for MPs and the Treasury with me (although I had to pursue him down a corridor on his way out to a TV interview to give it to him). We’ll also be emailing him a copy today.
Hopefully this will get our concerns some attention and, at the very least, make the minister aware of the problems as we see them.
Also…a quick note to say we’ve passed the 4,000 signatures mark for our petition to raise the Rent a Room Scheme threshold so thanks to all of you who’ve signed. We’ve never run a campaign like this one before but 4k seems like a healthy figure for the first couple of weeks.