Adjournment debate on social homes for rent, House of Commons, Wednesday 6 December 2017

The national housing shortage is one of the most pressing issues we face. Councils are working with communities to ensure more homes are built, but only an increase of all types of housing – including those for affordable or social rent – will solve the housing crisis.


Key messages

  • The national housing shortage is one of the most pressing issues we face. Councils are working with communities to ensure more homes are built, but 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 overall supply and reduce homelessness. 
  • The Government’s latest provisional figures on affordable housing show that the number of homes built for social rent has fallen by over 50 per cent in three years, with only 5,380 completed in 2016-17 
  • The Autumn Budget has taken a step forward by lifting the housing borrowing cap for some councils in ‘areas of high affordability pressure’, enabling them to bid for up to £1 billion in funding by 2021-22. This is an important recognition of the vital role that councils must play to provide desperately-needed homes, but does not go far enough. 
  • The shortage of housing supply is contributing to an affordability crisis. The LGA has found that one in seven private renters spends over half their income on rent. A new wave of affordable housing must now be built, linked to a new definition of affordable housing as costing 30 per cent of household income or less. 
  • Councils welcomed the Government’s decision to listen to our call for the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate not to apply to social housing. This is hugely positive, and will provide some crucial certainty for councils and their partners to provide housing for some of the most vulnerable people in our society. 
  • In October 2017 the Government confirmed the rent settlement for social landlords. Increases to social housing rents will be limited to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 1 per cent for 5 years from 2020. Councils need the long term stability over rent levels in order to plan for investment in new and existing housing stock.

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Adjournment debate on social homes for rent, House of Commons, Wednesday 6 December 2017