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.”