Sir George writes in the Observer on Cathy Come Home
20 Nov 2006
Along with others who have an interest in Housing, Sir George wrote a piece in the Observer, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the TV film "Cathy come Home"
This is reproduced below

"Few films achieve the impact that Cathy Come Home had; I remember watching it and being appalled at what was being done in my name by elected authorities. It unleashed a political movement dedicated to housing and social reform. Housing associations were formed to add momentum to the supply of affordable homes for rent.

The ripples could still be felt 30 years later. When the figures for the numbers of homeless were published each quarter, when I was Housing Minister, there were angry exchanges in the Commons. The fact that housing was a burning political issue helped in discussions with the Treasury, when key public expenditure decisions were made.

Would that the absence of anger today meant that the problem was solved. Of course, progress has been made and safety nets are in place that weren't there 40 years ago. The private rented sector has been transformed and decades of decline reversed; the local authority stock is in better shape and many more people have the tenure of choice - owner-occupation. But the number of affordable homes being built for rent is too low, the prices of new homes are unaffordable for too many couples, and too many couples are bringing up children in accommodation that is too small. And the prospects for housing in the Comprehensive spending review don't look too good.

We need once again the creative skills of Ken Loach, Tony Garnett and Jeremy Sandford, the director, producer and writer of Cathy Come Home, to drive housing back up the agenda."
 
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