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Lyons review 'to focus on problem areas'

Sir Michael Lyons has said the housing review currently being carried out will focus on problem areas that are "locked by inertia".He told delegates at the Liberal Democrat conference in York that the review will look specifically at problems that are holding back low-performing authorities, Inside Housing reports."We should concentrate on areas of failure, and while we will look at areas which could improve and those that are doing well, we will concentrate on those areas that are locked and have difficulty overcoming problems because of inertia and conflicts in communities," he told party members.Sir Michael also said the issue of former council homes loaned out by private sector landlords would be addressed, although he suggested doing so would take time.He added that issues that were supposed to be tackled by selling social homes are resurfacing as a result of the practice."I don't come bringing any solutions but I think this is one of the issues we need to pick away at," he commented.The former BBC chairman was asked to chair a housing review by Ed Miliband, as part of the Labour Party's attempts to ensure the right changes are made to housing and planning policies to meet the demand for homes.Mr Miliband has pledged to build 200,000 new homes a year by the end of the next parliament if Labour comes to power.A panel of experts from government and the housing industry has been assembled to advise Sir Michael when reviewing evidence.According to Labour, the housing deficit is a major factor in the cost of living crisis, as working people are unable to afford the homes they wish to purchase.Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron followed Sir Michael's comments by arguing that councils should be given the power to suspend the right to buy.He added that the policy is acceptable as long as it is not a "ludicrous giveaway" and replacement properties are constructed.Mr Farron is working on the housing section of the party's 2015 election manifesto.  

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