Tackle disillusionment by giving areas control on housing - Healey

HANDING areas more control over housing could help tackle the discontent which helped fuel the vote to leave the European Union, according to a Yorkshire MP.
John HealeyJohn Healey
John Healey

Former Housing Minister John Healey argued devolution deals previously agreed between the Government and areas such as West and South Yorkshire were “lacking serious new powers or funding” on housing but decisions taken at a local level would be more effective.

A new report from the Smith Institute has found there is strong support for housing to be devolved to a local level but progress has so far been “piecemeal” and were often undermined by national targets and policies.

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It suggests more parts of the country should be given the same freedoms enjoyed by London to decide their own policies on housing.

Mr Healey, the MP for Wentworth and Dearne, said: “There is a strong progressive case for handing out more power to local communities and regions.

“It’s not just that this is more democratic, it’s also that good government action can often fix and shape markets more effectively at a local than a national level.

“And hope that politics can help with the pressures people are facing is the best antidote to the fear and uncertainty which was both the cause and consequence of the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

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“The work the Smith Institute have done makes clear just how limited housing devolution is at present, when there is a strong will in many parts of the country to go much further than Ministers have so far allowed, and it sets out some of the scope to do so.”