Delivery of council housing: background

It is widely accepted that in many areas there needs to be a significant increase in the number of new homes delivered each year to keep up with population growth and tackle years of under-supply.

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The Government are committed to increasing the number of homes that are being built and are continuing progress towards their target of 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.

The Local Government Association (LGA) recognises that in order to tackle the national housing shortage councils also need to be empowered to build more affordable, good quality homes at scale, and fast, where these are locally needed. A genuine renaissance in council housebuilding is required to boost housing supply, help families struggling to meet housing costs, and tackle housing waiting lists. It also presents an at scale opportunity to mainstream the use of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) in UK housing delivery and for an accelerated switch to sources of renewable energy in a new generation of social rented homes.

Councils have been proactively addressing the challenge of building more homes, and with more help they could make a significant contribution.

There are a combination of factors that limit their ability to deliver and with the current pandemic forecast to impact on all areas of the housing market, government must consider and take action on the proposals raised in this report.

Through a proactive response in the wake of the pandemic, government can be instrumental in delivering to councils the tools, powers and flexibilities that they need to deliver homes for their communities, supported by the required infrastructure and services. This would also support the maintenance of capacity and confidence in the housing market.