Housing has always been a political issue from slum clearance to right to buy, the current affordability imbalance between the generations and of course the tragedy of Grenfell.
The latest housing crisis, something that impacts on us all, is really gaining traction but what can the Chancellor do? In the short term it's about allowing councils to borrow and freeing up the HCA to develop a major investment programme across the country. The other fixes, skills, access to EU workers, access to finance, the limited number of developers, affordability - are not things the budget can deliver overnight.
November 22nd does offer a change for the Chancellor to offer a bold new vision and a commitment not to fiddling at the edges but making a step change. Will he be bold enough? Can he afford it? Can he afford not to? We will see in a week's time.
It took the preventable tragedy of Grenfell Tower to get the government to own up to the reality that the housing market is broken. Grenfell rightly forced us all to recognise the enormous injustice in what we have come to regard as acceptable in terms of quality and even safety for the ‘have-nots’ as opposed to the ‘haves’ in modern Britain. That must change. But we need wide-reaching changes if we are to make a real difference because national housing is leaving too many people behind and will worsen without a radical rethink