EDITOR’S COMMENT from this week’ Solihull Observer
NEWS that homelessness has risen by more than 20 per cent in the West Midlands in just a year makes for depressing reading.
We are not just talking about rough sleepers, but ‘sofa surfing’ among those who no longer have their own home and are trying to make ends meet.
There are multiple factors – a squeeze on housing benefits, a lack of affordable housing and housing generally, with supply chronically low since the credit crunch nearly a decade ago.
Landlords exploiting tenants with rent rises in houses of multiple occupation is at worst a citywide and national disgrace,
Policy makers have systematically failed, and I’m not convinced releasing Greenbelt, inevitably for family housing, will solve the problems.