Councils respond to Theresa May's housebuilding announcement

“Every housing market is different and the only way councils will be able to significantly deliver the new homes we need is if they are given genuine powers to invest in housing that meets the needs of communities in every town and city across the country."


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Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference on council housebuilding, Lord Porter, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:

“It is good that the Government has accepted our argument that councils must be part of the solution to our chronic housing shortage and able to resume their historic role as a major builder of affordable homes. We hope that today’s speech by the Prime Minister signals an important shift in the Government’s housing vision and are pleased that there will be additional funding for affordable homes.

“Councils are working with communities to approve nine in 10 planning applications but it is clear that only an increase of all types of housing – including those for affordable or social rent – will solve the housing crisis. A genuine renaissance in council housebuilding would increase housing supply, boost home ownership and reduce homelessness.

“The last time the country was building more than 250,000 houses was in 1978 - when councils built 44 per cent of new homes. Councils want to get on with the job of building the new homes that people in their areas desperately need.

“Every housing market is different and the only way councils will be able to significantly deliver the new homes we need is if they are given genuine powers to invest in housing that meets the needs of communities in every town and city across the country.

“This means the ability to borrow to invest in new council housing, to keep 100 per cent of Right to Buy receipts to replace sold homes, certainty over future rents, powers to make sure developers build approved homes in a timely fashion, and adequately funded planning departments so that they can cover the cost of processing applications.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

  1. The LGA’s Autumn Budget submission includes calls for the Government to provide a sustainable long-term sustainable financial framework for councils to build homes, including lifting the Housing Borrowing Cap.