George Clarke: UK housing system is absolutely screwed

The architect will tackle the housing crisis in a new Channel 4 programme.
The architect will tackle the housing crisis in a new Channel 4 programme. The architect will tackle the housing crisis in a new Channel 4 programme.

George Clarke has said the housing system in the UK is “absolutely screwed”.

The famed architect and TV presenter has said there is a crisis of affordability and criticised the political approach to building new homes.

Clarke has branded housing in the UK a “scandal” and said the nation, one of the world’s most developed, should do better.

Shelter�s Vertical Rush
Shelter�s Vertical Rush Clarke wants to see sold-off council houses replaced (David Parry)

The architect grew up in a council house and has called for more to be built, replacing those sold off under right to buy.

He has criticised the approach of private firms who are happy to avoid duties to build affordable homes.

Clarke has taken aim at politicians who are not providing for “those most in need”.

He said: “The system is absolutely screwed.”

Clarke added: “For every council house that we sold off, we should have built another one, we should have replaced it. It’s a scandal.

“The Government have set up policies to stop that from happening.

“What people don’t realise is that Thatcher’s government, and every government since, has actively put in policies to stop councils from borrowing and building and doing council housing, and putting everything against them.

“We are not providing housing to those most in need. We are in one of the most developed countries in the world. Why do we have one of the worst housing crises on the planet?”

Clarke has called for a political challenge to the housing crisis, which he said has had a negative impact on communities across the country.

He said: “We all need to look at ourselves because we vote in these politicians, we vote in these government.”

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “Providing quality and fair social housing is a top priority for this Government, which is why we’ve freed up local authorities to build more council homes.

“Since 2010 more than 400,000 affordable homes have been delivered in England and we’re investing over £9 billion, plus an additional £2 billion after 2022, to push on and build more.”

The presenter tackles issues of housing in George Clarke’s Council House Scandal, which starts on Channel 4 on July 31.