“The LGA has been clear that councils must be given greater freedom to borrow to build desperately-needed new homes in their local areas and play a leading role in solving our housing shortage."
Responding to the Housing Revenue Account borrowing programme prospectus, Cllr Martin Tett, Local Government Association Housing spokesman, said:
“The LGA has been clear that councils must be given greater freedom to borrow to build desperately-needed new homes in their local areas and play a leading role in solving our housing shortage. Today’s announcement is a positive step in the right direction towards triggering the renaissance in council housebuilding that we urgently need to ensure more affordable, secure and stable homes for everyone.
“The next step for the Government now is to accept the calls of the LGA and the influential Treasury Select Committee to scrap the cap on council borrowing in every community across the country. This would free councils to make the investment decisions that will boost housebuilding in their local areas unencumbered from rules and regulations created in Whitehall.
“It is generally accepted that the country needs to build 300,000 homes a year to keep up with demand. The last time this country built the amount of homes it needs each year, councils were responsible for 40 per cent of them.
“For councils to be able to resume their historic role as a major builder of affordable homes, we need to see initiatives that support housebuilding in local communities – that means borrowing to build with no added restrictions, keeping 100 per cent of receipts from Right to Buy sales and granting greater flexibilities on Right to Buy discounts to local communities.”