8 January 2019
Bringing together sixteen commissioners from across the political spectrum, Shelter have released a report titled, ‘A vision for social housing’, which analyses the state of social housing across the country.
The report reinforces the message that the entire housing sector has been telling successive Governments for the last twenty years, that not enough social housing is being built.
The National Federation of Builders (NFB) welcomes the detail of the report and supports many of the recommendations, specifically the need to build many more social homes and replace those lost to ‘right to buy’.
A responsible Government must act to reduce the burden on the tax payer while increasing the number of social homes available. Positive steps have been taken through the decision to lift the borrowing cap that local authorities face when financing social housing but not all councils can access increased borrowing unless they already own 200 social homes.
Unfortunately, Shelter’s report does not acknowledge the role of local plans in stimulating social housing, as local authorities can work hand in glove with providers to assure them of development opportunities during the site allocation phase. Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB said:
“Industry, popular opinion and economists continue to tell the Government that they must build more social homes. It’s time they listened and became the first Government in twenty years to meet very clear expectations.”
Rico Wojtulewicz, Head of Housing and Planning policy at the House Builders Association added:
“A major social house building programme is a no brainer. You help house those in need, stimulate local employment and business, help fix part of the broken housing market and build for the future.”