Call for more social housing

The final report of its commission on the future of social housing also proposes a new regulator covering social and private renting, permanent tenancies for private renters, and extending the social housing eligibility criteria.

Cllr Martin Tett, the LGA’s Housing Spokesman, said: “There is an acute need to address the escalating housing crisis which would deliver huge benefits for families, communities and the economy. We have estimated investment in a new generation of social housing could return up to £320 billion over 50 years.

“Only by triggering a renaissance in council house-building can we put in place the long-term reforms that will help make homelessness a thing of the past and remove housing insecurities for current and future generations.

“The last time we built enough homes, councils built 40 per cent of them. We need to get back to those levels if we’re to tackle our housing crisis, building a new generation of at least 100,000 high-quality social homes a year.

“However, every housing market is different and resolving the challenge must mean allowing every council to ensure that new and existing social housing best meets local need. Critical to this goal will be allowing councils to keep 100 per cent of their Right to Buy receipts and to set discounts locally.”

Shelter estimates its 20-year programme will provide a return on investment in 39 years, and cost £10.7 billion a year on average – reduced to £3.8 billion when savings in benefits and increased taxes are considered. Annual spending on housing benefit is currently around £21 billion.

It is also calling for measures to reduce the cost of land for social housing, and steps to ensure new social housing is delivered as part of mixed communities.

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