Skip to main content

Social Housing

Volume 692: debated on Monday 19 April 2021

What recent estimate he has made of the number of additional council and housing association homes required to meet demand for social housing. (914301)

Planning policy is clear: it is for local authorities to identify the size, type and tenure of the housing needed for different groups in the community, including those who require affordable housing. We are committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing and are investing over £12 billion in the affordable housing programme over the next five years, the largest investment in affordable housing in over a decade.

Many of my constituents cannot afford to buy a house of their own and are finding that private sector landlords are using various devices to block access to that market as well, such as through guarantees and bond requirements, so council housing or social housing is the only option, but demand is outstripping supply, and, according to the Chartered Institute of Housing, outside London only a third of all the social housing needed will actually be built in the next five years. So what does the Minister say to my constituents who find themselves with no housing options at all at the moment?

Over the last 10 years around 150,000 new homes for social rent have been built. We have made it easier for local authorities to build their own council homes by changing the rules around the housing revenue account and by making it easier for them to get cheap loans through the Public Works Loan Board. Our new affordable homes programme, investing £12 billion-plus in new homes over the next five years, will double the number of socially rentable homes built to 32,000. I rather hope the hon. Gentleman’s local authority will take advantage of the reforms that we have undertaken and the powers we have given local authorities, because in 2019-20, before the covid emergency, it built no social houses at all.