Barry Thompson (“Reasonable rents need”, October 26) describes the ‘blight’ of homelessness in eloquent and accurate terms.

Your on-line correspondent Ian Gardner is unconvinced by my arguments (“threatens integrity”, October 25).

Presumably, he won’t take kindly to Barry’s either.

If he is Cllr Ian Gardner (Con) who sits on the West Dorset Strategy Committee he should keep himself better informed!

‘Affordable’ housing is clearly a subject that needs addressing.

The Budget for Government Responsibility estimates “overall housing benefit spending in 2018-19 to total £23.4 billion, with 4.6 million recipients paid an average of £5,035 each.

That would represent 2.9 per cent of total public spending and 1.1 per cent of national income”.

This confirms that it is taxpayers who are footing the bill for what is really ‘unaffordable’ housing, with the emphasis on ‘really’!

There is only one way to overcome the current iniquity of homelessness.

That is for the government to rule that from a date soon, every development large and small which is submitted for planning approval must contain at least 35 per cent of flats and houses costing no more than £225,000 with the emphasis on those costing less.

All dwellings should be ‘rent restricted’ to five per cent of their respective achieved sale prices for life with subsequent adjustments only by reference to local area wages and cost of living indices. Future sale prices would be unaffected and subject to sale and demand.

For instance, a flat in Dorset with a market value of £180,000 rented by a couple earning only £700 per week between them would be about £180 per week.

This would give them scope to save to buy or rent a larger place as they raised a family and would meet government ‘affordability’ definitions.

We cannot stop people buying properties either as second homes or to let.

However, what we must do is stop funding the current ‘housing bubble’ by subsidising rents to the tune of £24 billion a year purely because the right sort of houses isn’t being built.

Let the comparatively rich live where they want but let's limit the extent to which they can distort the world by creating ‘elite neighborhoods’.

The beauty of this suggestion is that its effect would enable a gradual reduction in Housing Benefits at the same time promoting a range of future properties to meet all of our needs and not just the affluent few.

It defines the term ‘affordable’ in an entirely appropriate and accurate manner.

It would also stop profiteering by landlords who raise rents 'strategically'!