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Government publishes report on the social housing crisis and increasing supply

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has published a new report on building more social housing.

In its report, the Committee states that 90,000 new social homes will be needed every year to meet the country’s demand for housing and ensure the overall target of 300,000 new homes is met. The report also found that 83,700 households are in temporary accommodation, which marks an increase of 82% since 2010, and that the number of people sleeping rough has gone up 165% in the same period.

Additionally, the report confirms that since 1981, over a million homes have been lost from social housing stock and in 2019 only 6,827 new homes were built. The Committee has also urged the government to reconsider how it disposes of public land, and views it as something that can be used for the public good rather than a source of revenue.

The Committee has also put forward the following conclusions and recommendations:

  • definitions of affordability—it is crucial the government links local incomes to a definition of affordability, rather than using ‘affordable’ as a substitute for below market rent or value
  • land—the Land Compensation Act 1961 needs reforming so that local authorities and development corporations have the power to compulsorily purchase land at a fairer price
  • increasing social housing supply—the government should publish annual net addition targets for social rent, affordable rent, intermediate rent and affordable homeownership to improve transparency and accountability of the government’s record on affordable housing. The Committee also stated its disappointment at the government’s failure to publish a plan on social housing
  • changes to the planning system—the Committee is concerned that the government is not learning from the Starter Homes consultation as it has not conducted an analysis of the impact of implementing First Homes on the delivery of social housing through section 106 agreements
  • right to buy—local authorities should receive 100% of right to buy receipts and the time limit for using the receipts to fund a replacement should be extended from three to five years.

The Social Housing Team at Wilson Browne Solicitors act for Housing Associations who are at the forefront of providing social housing and so the report makes interesting reading and highlights the very real need for more social housing for the future.

Read more here

Ika Částka

Posted:

Ika Částka

Partner

Ika is a member of the Commercial Property team and has been advising individuals and businesses across Northamptonshire since 1986, specialising in commercial, agricultural and rural property matters for both businesses and individuals.