New MPs will find housing top of their post bags, new survey reveals
18 May 2010
New MPs will find housing is the chief concern of their constituents, research by Shelter Scotland reveals today (Tuesday).
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 downturn has had a massive impact on people’s ability to get a decent and affordable home. Currently nearly 200,000 households in Scotland are on waiting lists for a house and 10,000 households living in temporary housing.
And this crisis is only set to get worse over the coming months, with at least 50,000 homes predicted to be repossessed across the UK this year. Added to this, recent figures show unemployment continues to rise in Scotland.
Graeme Brown, Director, Shelter Scotland, housing and homelessness charity, said: “Despite none of the politicians talking about housing during the election, our research shows housing is the big issue facing people right now.
“Whether it is a young couple struggling to get their foot on the ladder, a family trapped in overcrowded conditions or someone facing eviction from their home, people of all backgrounds are in desperate need with their housing situation.
Mr Brown continued: “As well as being a vital issue for local people, addressing the housing crisis must now be an urgent priority for all new MPs, working alongside MSPs. All parties completely failed to set out how they intend to tackle the housing crisis during the election campaign and we are now calling for them to make housing a key issue for governments.
He added: “Shelter Scotland is keen to work with all new and existing MPs in Scotland as they start the difficult job of dealing with their constituents’ very real housing problems on the ground.”
Anyone struggling with a housing issue should contact Shelter’s free, independent helpline on 0808 800 4444 or visit www.shelter.org.uk
Notes to editors
- ComRes surveyed 150 MPs on the ComRes parliamentary panel between 27th January and 2nd March 2010 by self-completion postal questionnaire and online. The survey was weighted to be representative of the whole HoC. MPs were asked whether they agree or disagree with the series of statements below regarding their constituents’ housing issues:
- Housing is the problem that constituents most commonly seek assistance from me on
- Housing issues make up over half of my constituency casework
- Housing is one of the top three problems raised most commonly by constituents
2. For full tables visit www.comres.co.uk