COMMONS

Committee launch inquiry into long-term delivery of social and affordable rented housing

31 May 2019

Background

The Government has set a target of delivering 300,000 new homes per year by mid-2020. However only 3% of this target would be social homes built by local authorities. Housing charity Shelter has warned that over 3 million new social home would need to be built over a 20 year period to address social housing need. Amounting to 150,000 new social homes per year this is significantly higher than the Government’s current plans.
 
The new inquiry will investigate the effectiveness of the Government’s current strategies to boost social and affordable rented housing provision. This will include the adequacy of funding levels, as well as programmes and incentives for key stakeholders, such as local authorities and housing associations, to stimulate delivery.
 
The Committee will also look at the challenges facing different areas of the country and consider what lessons can be learnt from successful schemes in other countries.

Chair's comments

Launching the inquiry, Chair of the Committee, Clive Betts MP said: 

“Over the last decade the construction of new social and affordable rented homes has stagnated. The number of new homes built in this sector has slowed to a trickle of a few thousand a year, while at the same time demand becomes greater and greater.

“The Government has accepted that there needs to be much more new housing built each year, but it is possible that only 3% of its target of 300,000 new homes a year will be social homes built by local authorities.

“We have launched this new inquiry to understand how effective the Government’s current housing strategy will be in meeting demand for social housing in the long term. We will examine how far current funding levels will promote new building projects, and what more can be done to encourage local authorities and housing associations to increase provision. Social housing has been left to drift for too long and we must ensure that there are coherent long-term strategies to remedy this.”

Terms of reference

The Committee is inviting written submissions to the inquiry, addressing the following terms of reference:

  • How can the Government ensure the sustainable delivery of social and affordable rented housing to meet long-term need and contribute to the Government’s overall housebuilding targets.
    - What levels of central government funding will be required to support this delivery over the next 10 years.
    - How effective existing government incentives and programmes are and what further incentives should the Government provide to key stakeholders to stimulate delivery.
    - Are supply subsidies the best way of supporting delivery, or should other approaches be considered?
  • What the role of (a) local authorities – as enablers and providers, (b) Homes England (c) housing associations and (d) other providers should be in that long-term delivery.
  • How does the Government ensure long-term provision (a) meets the needs of tenants and (b) is adequately regulated.
  • How can the Government’s approach to delivery best meet the different needs of individual regions and area.
  • What lessons can be learned from alternative approaches to social and affordable rented housing delivery in other countries and jurisdictions.

The deadline for submissions is 12 July 2019

Further information

Image: PA

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