Belfast Telegraph

Government does not care about UK’s housing crisis, says George Clarke

The architect and TV personality fronts a new Channel 4 documentary titled Council House Scandal.

Architect and television presenter George Clarke (David Parry/PA)
Architect and television presenter George Clarke (David Parry/PA)

Celebrity architect George Clarke has claimed the Government does not care about the UK’s housing crisis.

Clarke, who presents Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces, told The Big Issue the fact he saw an acute housing shortage across the country proved there was “something fundamentally wrong with the entire system”.

The TV personality, 45, addresses the problem in a new documentary, titled George Clarke’s Council House Scandal, released to mark the centenary of the Addison Act, which in 1919 kick-started a state-built housing boom.

He told the magazine: “This is going to be one of the most hard-hitting things I ever say. But the Government doesn’t care. Because if it did, it would radically change its policies. It is about action, not words…

“We as a nation should be standing here, proud that we have solved the housing crisis, that we have built fantastic state-owned homes, that we have provided homes for those most in need. If we can’t do that there is something fundamentally wrong with the entire system.”

Clark, from Washington in Tyne and Wear, is currently working with Manchester City Council on a 27-house development.

The presenter said politicians had a duty to provide homes to the nation’s most needy.

“Politicians can sit there and blame everybody else in the world, but as far as I’m concerned, the state has a responsibility to provide homes for those most in need,” he said.

“I was brought up on a council housing estate and I saw how really good, well-designed houses in a well-designed estate with great public spaces and amenities created a great community…

“Until those in power really fully understand how transformative a good, affordable, decent home can be for people we are never going to solve the housing crisis.”

George Clarke’s Council House Scandal airs on Channel 4 on Wednesday July 31.

The full interview with Clarke is available in The Big Issue, out now.

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