Lunchtime news May 18

Almost a million children are trapped in overcrowded housing, according to a new campaign launched by HHSE today. The total has risen 50,000 to 955,000 in the last three years. The campaign includes a new video and a call to email communities secretary Ruth Kelly to update the current overcrowding standard.

Sarah Webb will be the new chief executive of the CIH. Previously deputy chief executive of the CIH and head of the ODPM’s community housing task force, she will take over from David Butler. She was quickly into action yesterday in support of home information packs - because they benefit first-time buyers.

Gordon Brown and his ally Yvette Cooper are planning to make support for house building a significant dividing line between Labour and the Conservatives, reports Inside Housing.

A vote in the European Parliament could clear the way for releasing billions of pounds worth of structural funds for housing, reports Inside Housing.

The minimum wage and tax credits have failed to cut the income inequality Labour inherited from the Conservatives, according to new statistics reported in the Guardian.

The Financial Services Authority has issued a warning about the buy to let market, with borrowers losing money and lenders not knowing the true quality of their loan books, reports the Financial Times.

Housing starts in England fell 6% in 2013/07 to 173,400 after rising for the previous five years, according to the DCLG. Completions rose 3%.

Inner city regneration won’t be enough to solve the housing crisis, says NHF chief executive David Orr in a Guardian response to Simon Jenkins earlier this week.