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George Clarke is a well known TV presenter and architect who is on a mission! He is appealing for as many people as possible to sign his petition, calling for the building of more council houses. George was raised on a council estate in the north east, and currently lives in a former council flat in West London. He points out that the Right to Buy scheme introduced in the 80’s saw millions of council houses being sold off. The problem here was that they were not replaced with the same gusto, leaving over one million people on council house waiting lists.
He states “I’m proud to have been raised on a thriving council estate in the 1970s. My neighbourhood was a fantastic place to grow up and everyone was proud of their council-owned homes. This country’s obsession with home ownership over the last 40 years has created real stigma around rented council housing – and it breaks my heart.” He feels that high quality, well designed and affordable homes should be built at a rate of 100,000 a year for the next 30 years. His petition is hoped to raise awareness of this issue and prompt the government to act as a matter of urgency.
The timing of the petition is relevant also, as this year marks the centenary of the ‘Addison Act’ of 1919. The act granted local councils the power to build new properties in their thousands, however the process has slowed down considerably over the years. This has left many younger people with little choice but to stay in the family home, or rent temporarily. It is extremely difficult for them to buy their own home and have a family even if they work hard.
George Clarke’s petition has received an excellent response from the nation, and has already been signed by over 220,000. If you would like to join George in this endeavour, and sign his petition click here.