Council housing progress

Following much lobbying, including by the LGiU, expect to see an announcement in the budget tomorrow of a new fund to support council house building. It will be one part of a package of around £1bn to stimulate the housing market, which will also include extending the stamp duty holiday and the mortgage rescue scheme, along with money set aside to restart stalled housing projects. Some will say the amount for council house building, which will only work if reforms to housing finance go ahead, is too limited. After 30 years of decline in the role of local authorities in house building, my cup is half full. I don’t see this as an ideological issue anymore, councillors from all parties recognise the urgent need to increase the supply of social housing. The findings of our project with Westminster City Council looking at housing overcrowding will be published soon.

    1. John Lehal says:

      The £1bn is a welcome down-payment, but let’s be honest we still need significant investment in house-building. More families will spend tonight sleeping in inadequate temporary accommodation than homes will be built under this announcement, and Kate Barker’re report suggest that the homes built will need to last for 1200 years! We know demand for housing will continue increasing, and at a time when waiting lists edge closer to the 5 million mark. We’re not building nearly enough homes so whilst I always welcome your optimism Andy, I think we need to seize the moment: be far more ambitious on social house-building targets and at the same time take a more ambitious look at access to shared-ownership schemes, community land trusts and self-builds.

      1. Andy Sawford says:

        Thanks for your comments John, I agree the £1bn is only a relatively small step forward, and that we need more innovation. Community Land Trusts are a great idea. David Rodgers makes a compelling case in this recently published pamphlet: http://tinyurl.com/cvtmdw

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