Housing crisis

Saxby calls for talks with Prime Minister over Devon housing crisis

11:30 a.m. April 1, 2022

North Devon Conservative MP Selaine Saxby has requested a meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss the shortage of affordable housing in North Devon.

Devon Home Choice’s January 2022 report showed that 1,388 households were in need of accommodation in the district.

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday (30 March), Ms Saxby said: ‘I welcome what the government is doing to help, where it can, with the cost of living crisis, but in the north of Devon and the South West we have a housing crisis which requires urgent action.

“Will my Right Honorable Friend meet with me to better understand the severity and complexity of our housing shortage and what action the government could take?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he “fully” understood the need to provide more housing, but did not commit to meeting Ms Saxby.

However, he added: ‘We are building a record number of houses despite all the difficulties we have faced, and that is why we have introduced higher stamp duty rates on second homes, removed the rebate on second homes and are using £11.5 billion to build 180,000 affordable homes across the country.

“It’s always Tories building affordable homes, it’s true, and Labor talking about it.”

Labor says if elected they will give local authorities and communities new powers to develop land for more affordable housing ‘by reforming arcane and outdated land buying powers’.

Selaine Saxby, Conservative MP for North Devon
– Credit: Selaine Saxby MP

The party also says it would end “the outrageous practice of foreign buyers buying swaths of new property developments off-plan, before locals can even see them”.

Speaking in September 2021, then Shadow Secretary of State for Housing Lucy Powell said: “The Tories have worked with developers to maximize their profits as home ownership has shrunk on their watch. ”