Chris Loder MP is quite right to highlight the plight of young people - and not only the young - in finding suitable housing in Dorset that they can afford.

There is an “unsayable reality” today which his party was once very willing to say: housing is a necessity that requires a pragmatic rather than ideological response.

In the decades following World War II, Labour and Conservative administrations vied to build record numbers of council houses, as well as houses for owner-occupiers, because that was the pragmatic way to answer the need.

Since then, the “right-to-buy”, aimed at creating a “propertyowning democracy” as the slogan had it, has massively reduced the stock of social housing but, worse and presumably unintended, has resulted in a large proportion of such houses ending up in the hands of private landlords who rent out at rates no longer affordable by the people for whom the houses were originally intended.

The “unsayable reality” is that the right to buy must be closed, and a new programme of council/social housing initiated, a programme that will not only address housing need but would also play an important part of the government’s “levelling up” aims which seem at present to be bogged down in a lack of actual policy detail.


Romulus Close, Dorchester