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Local Authorities (Housing Supply)

Volume 574: debated on Thursday 30 January 2014

The Government have appointed Natalie Elphicke and Councillor Keith House to jointly lead the independent review into the role of local authorities in housing supply.

The review will consider the role that councils can play in helping to meet the housing needs of their local population, within the context of the need to ensure good value for money and fiscal discipline.

The review should aim to support stability in the local authority housing sector, and take as its context recent reforms such as the abolition of the housing revenue account subsidy system, which has given local authorities freedom and responsibility of running their own housing businesses.

The review will include stock holding and non-stock holding councils within its remit, and cover councils’ role in increasing supply for their communities across all tenures. Particular issues to be considered include:

how stock-holding councils are using their new freedoms under housing revenue account self-financing to support housing supply;

what more councils could do to support housing supply; including:

making maximum use of their existing asset base to support new development through asset sales;

capacity and skills issues in supporting locally-led larger-scale development;

how councils are using their own land to support their own, or others’, house building;

what innovative financing mechanisms councils have used to increase house building while ensuring value for money;

how local authorities can drive efficiency improvements in their management and development of social housing.

The review will report by the end of 2014.

The full terms of reference for the review are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/policy-advisory-groups.

A copy is also being placed in the Library of the House.