Councils share the collective national ambition to tackle their local housing crisis, and create great places for current and future generations. This will only be achieved through strong national and local leadership working together.
As house builders, housing enablers, and landlords; as planners, place-shapers, and agents of growth, transport and infrastructure; as responsible guardians to the vulnerable and people who are homeless; and as democratically accountable to communities – local government is at the heart of our housing solution.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental impact on a number of key issues that affect communities and has exposed stark inequalities across the country. As we look to recover, housing must be considered a priority and councils want to work with Government and partners across the housing sector to ensure every part of the country has access to good quality, affordable housing, in the right places.
Benefits of building more council housing
1) Economic impact
New housing will play a vital role in the economic recovery of our cities, towns and villages. Councils want to work with Government to deliver 100,000 high quality social homes each year. This will provide more people with an opportunity to find a home of their own, relieve the pressures on homelessness services, and create a whole host of new jobs and opportunities for people looking to deliver these new homes. Building 100,000 new social homes per year could result in a £14.5 billion boost to the economy, kickstarting our construction sector with 89,000 jobs worth £3.9 billion and adding £4.8 billion, with a further £5.7 billion to the supply chain.
2) Supporting the most vulnerable
The pandemic and the ongoing issues the country faces has significantly impacted on a number of council services. Councils are facing increased housing demand pressures as they continue to provide homelessness support and invest in homelessness prevention services. There are currently there are over 1.1 million households on social housing waiting lists. Any loss of social rented housing could potential push more families into the private rented sector, and could drive up housing benefit spending and rents, and exacerbate our homelessness crisis at a time of an escalating cost of living crisis. We need to urgently increase the supply of affordable social homes, however, councils are increasingly finding it difficult to build replacement council homes sold under Right to Buy. Right to Buy should be reformed to allow councils to retain 100 per cent of receipts and so they can set discounts locally. This would allow councils to replace homes sold under the scheme and boost the number of affordable social homes available.
3) Improving local places
Our local areas have never been more important to us than now. As we look to the future, it should be councils and their communities who drive the national recovery with the power and voice to shape their local area. Our local areas should be somewhere we are proud to live, work and enjoy our time in, and should give everyone an opportunity to reach their full potential. That's why we are urging Government to keep planning local.
4) Improving living standards
Councils play a vital role in supporting their residents’ quality of life. They strive to listen to their communities and respond to their needs. Despite the financial pressures councils are under, they continue to deliver affordable, safe, well designed housing that suits the needs of their communities and the environment. Councils are striving to ensure that housing is climate friendly and adds value to their surrounding area and most importantly helps the people living there but they need support from Government.
Councils are delivering...
City of York Council: building future foundations
York City Council are delivering a number of new affordable housing developments to help more in their local area to find a home. This video highlights how their council housing has been helping their local area to build foundations for the future.
South Holland District Council - Improving lives by meeting housing needs
Dorset Council - Red Oak Housing Scheme
Red Oak Housing Scheme is a housing scheme developed by Dorset Council to support adults with learning difficulties live more independently. More information can be found in the video below.