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New Homes for Social Rent

Volume 645: debated on Monday 23 July 2018

6. What recent assessment he has made of trends in the level of new homes available for social rent since 2010. (906575)

Since 2010, we have delivered over 378,000 new affordable homes, including 129,000 for social rent. We are investing over £9 billion in the affordable homes programme to deliver over a quarter of a million new affordable homes, including at least a further 12,500 for social rent.

In the Housing Secretary’s council area of Bexley, 270 social rented homes were built in 2010, but not a single one was built last year. There is a housing crisis in his area, just as there is in Peterborough and across the country, so would it not be better for his constituents and mine if he reversed the huge funding cuts that this Government have made to social housing?

I do not know if the hon. Lady heard my initial answer to her question; I pointed out the enormous amounts of money that are being invested in the provision of affordable homes. Pleasingly, the area that she represents has responded with some alacrity, putting in place some significantly ambitious targets—100,000 new homes over the next 20 years, of which 40,000 will be affordable. It is to be congratulated on doing so. She is right, though, that there is some pressure to be brought to bear particularly on councils to bid into the extra borrowing allowance that we have made available to them for the provision of social rent. I will meet them at my earliest opportunity to understand when and why they will do so.

Between 2012 and 2017, Labour-controlled Redditch Borough Council failed to build a single home for social rent. Does the Minister therefore welcome Conservative-controlled Redditch Borough Council’s intention to build more homes for social rent, because we believe that everyone should have a decent home of their own, whatever their income or background?

I am sure that there are many in Redditch who breathe a sigh of relief that the Conservatives are in control of that particular part of the country, championed by such a wonderful Member of Parliament. My hon. Friend is absolutely right: it is still the case that more affordable homes have been delivered in the last seven years than were delivered in the last seven years of the previous Labour Government.