Letter:Housing the tomorrow people

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The Independent Online
Sir: Town and Country Planners have worked themselves up into a stew about the latest round of household projections ("Towns to grow in green fields", 1 August).The core of the problem is the interpretation of the statistics.

The fact that there are 4.4 million extra households does not mean 4.4 million new homes need building. New house building will be only one of a range of policies needed to house the tomorrow people. Adaptations, conversions and renovation of the existing stock and re-utilising the hundreds of thousands of empty private-sector properties will be as important.

The real issue is not what the household projections show but the economic trends that indicate that the gap between rich and poor will widen leading to even greater residualisation in social housing and imbalanced communities. Tackling this will be the real challenge for the next century.

MICHAEL WAGSTAFF

Goudhurst, Kent

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