New MPs will find housing is the chief concern of their constituents, research by Shelter reveals today.
In a survey of 150 MPs from the last Parliament conducted by ComRes, nearly three quarters (72%) of MPs agreed that housing is one of the top three problems raised by their constituents whilst half (49%) of all MPs agreed that housing is the most common problem that constituents seek assistance on.
Today, as Parliament officially returns, Shelter is highlighting to all new MPs that they should expect to get a huge number of constituents coming to them with housing problems in the coming years.
The economic down turn has had a massive impact on people’s ability to get a decent and affordable home. Currently 1.8 million households are on council housing waiting lists and over a million children are trapped in overcrowded housing.
And this crisis is only set to get worse over the coming months with at least 50,000 homes predicted to be repossessed this year and evidence from Shelter’s front line advice services that more and more people are struggling to afford the roof over their head.
Shelter is the leading housing advice charity in the country, helping over 200 people a day with housing problems. This week the charity will write to all new MPs offering them and their case workers support and advice to help deal with the massive influx of housing problems constituents will be coming to them with.
Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter said: “As our research shows housing will be one of the first issues that MPs will have to get to grips with in their new role.
“Whether it is a family trapped in overcrowded conditions or someone facing eviction from their home or a young couple struggling to get their foot on the ladder, people of all backgrounds are in desperate need with their housing situation.
Mr Robb continued: “As well as being a vital issue for local people, addressing the housing crisis must now be an urgent priority for the new Government. The Conservative and Liberal Democrat party did not prioritise tackling the housing crisis during their election campaigns and we are extremely disappointed that they have demoted the housing minister when our research shows how critical this is.
“At the same time we are offering our expertise and resources to all new and existing MPs as they start the difficult job of dealing with their constituents’ very real housing problems on the ground.”