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MPs and peers 'should move to Hull'

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Hull has the lowest average rents on England

Hull has the lowest average rents on England

Campaigners have suggested parts of Westminster could be converted into flats

Campaigners have suggested parts of Westminster could be converted into flats

Hull has the lowest average rents on England

Parliament should be converted into affordable housing and MPs and peers relocated to Hull to cut costs and ease the capital's housing shortage, campaigners have suggested.

In what was billed as an attempt to give MPs "a sense of humility" about the plight of ordinary families, Generation Rent produced architectural plans to create 364 properties within the historic building.

They show the spacious interiors of the building - part of a designated World Heritage Site - used to accommodate three-bedroom maisonettes while the debating chambers become swimming pools.

Shifting politicians' second homes to the English city with the lowest average rents would slash the cost to the taxpayer by more than a third to £1.56 million a year, they claimed.

A £20 million drop in the wage bill by moving to a lower-paid region of the country would help leave the public finances £120 million healthier over the course of a five-year parliament.

And up to another £500 million would be raised by selling the modern Portcullis House accommodation block next door to Parliament.

Some of those left jobless in the capital could be redeployed to staff parts of the Palace retained as a museum, it was suggested, including the iconic towers and Westminster Hall.

Alex Hilton, director of Generation Rent - the operating name of the National Private Tenants Organisation, said: "Renters are being crushed by high rents, poor conditions and almost no security of tenure.

"With their generous rent allowances from the taxpayer, MPs are cocooned from the housing crisis so they're largely indifferent to the plight of renters.

"One way our politicians could bear their share of austerity is if we relocated Parliament to the least expensive part of the country. We hope our proposal gives MPs a sense of humility and some urgency to ending the housing crisis."

Architect Jay Morton, who drew up the plans, said: "This redevelopment would provide a unique opportunity to renovate the existing fabric of the building and provide much needed accommodation for those who live and work in the city while re-injecting a community back into the heart of the borough."