Boats should be used to ease the housing crisis, according to the Housing Minister
Houseboats are a prime example of how ‘unconventional
housing’ could be used to tackle the housing crisis, the Housing Minister
Grant Shapps has claimed.
Mr Shapps wants councils to boost the number of moorings
available so that more people can live on the water.
In a bid to encourage councils to do this, Mr Shapps
has revealed that new moorings could be eligible for the New Homes Bonus, which
means the government would match council tax from new-build homes.
“Around 15,000 people live on our waterways and many more
would like to do so,” he said. “The government’s commitment to localism
could be an opportunity for living on boats to be given a new lease of life.”
Mr Shapps also said that residential moorings would allow people to live in
areas where they couldn’t afford to do so otherwise.
It’s a move that’s been welcomed by British Waterways. Sally
Ash, head of boating at British Waterways, told the Telegraph: “The number of
people visiting and enjoying our canals and rivers has grown in recent years
and this waterways renaissance has triggered strong demand from people wanting
to live afloat.”