90% of councils believe government housing schemes are driving up homelessness

90% of councils believe government housing schemes are driving up homelessness

A new snapshot survey published by the Local Government Association has found that homelessness and housing waiting lists will increase as government backed housing schemes continue to reduce the number of desperately-needed homes available to communities.

The LGA poll asked housing stock-owning councils in England what the impact of a range of government housing policies would have on their local area by 2020.

The overwhelming majority of councils responding to the survey (90%) said reforms – including extending Right to Buy, cuts to social housing rents and Pay to Stay  – will lead to a drop in the number of much needed council homes in their local area.

Many predict that the reforms will lead to a rise in homelessness (78%) and demand for temporary accommodation (80%) in their community while the majority (81%) expect their council housing waiting lists will increase as a result.

Four in five councils responding to the survey (82%) said investment in estate development or regeneration would decrease by 2020 and 58% of councils said housing benefit spending will increase, a likely consequence of more people being forced into the private rented sector.

With the Housing and Planning Bill being voted on by Lords next month, the LGA is calling for councils to retain 100% of receipts from any council homes they sell, and to gain greater flexibilities to replace homes sold through the council Right to Buy scheme.

Social housing tenants unable to afford market rents will need to be protected from the unintended consequence of Pay to Stay. The LGA said the policy should be voluntary for councils who should be able to retain any additional income generated to reinvest in new and existing homes.


Cllr Peter Box, LGA Housing spokesman, said: “Our snapshot survey shows some councils fear aspects of the Housing and Planning Bill will all but end their ability to build new homes by cutting billions from local investment in new and existing council housing. Local authorities will also then be forced to sell existing council homes and will struggle to replace them and there is a fear this will combine to drastically reduce the number of homes available in local communities.

Local authorities are keen to get on with the job of building the new homes that people in their areas desperately need. Instead, housing reforms that reduce rents and force councils to sell their homes will make building new homes all but impossible.

With 68,000 people already currently living in temporary accommodation, more than a million more on council waiting lists and annual homelessness spending of £330 million – there is a real fear that this lack of homes will increase homelessness and exacerbate our housing crisis.

While private developers have a crucial role to play in solving our chronic housing shortage, it is clear that they cannot rapidly build the 230,000 needed each year alone. There is no silver bullet, but we will not resolve our housing crisis without a dramatic increase of all types of housing, including those for affordable and social rent alongside those to support home ownership.

New homes are badly-needed and we will only see a genuine end to our housing crisis if councils are given the powers to get on with the job of building them too.”

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Latest Comments

MBM Homelets
MBM Homelets 23 Mar 2017

Although this is a very positive step, there is little or no guarantee of the standard of workmanship employed by the tenants. We have had experience of a professionally decorated property being ' painted'...

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ajay
ajay 21 Mar 2017

How is the "robust evidence" looking now?

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NathanG
NathanG 20 Mar 2017

I've been watching the series so far and am completely baffled by the cases that were presented. Though, I don't think that we can protect ourselves from every scam possible - it will just make the scammers...

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Landlady14
Landlady14 01 Mar 2017

You would think so Niraj Shah! My experience only proves that there are varying qualitiers of professional in all aspects of property letting. None of the ones I have dealt with, from letting agents to...

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Mark
Mark 01 Mar 2017

Thanks for this article. Hopefully one day everybody's lifestyle will be eco-sustainable.

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Ben Taylor
Ben Taylor 28 Feb 2017

I was convinced that London was the most expensive!

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Alan Read
Alan Read 28 Feb 2017

Australia are leading the way in this I think. The trouble with Britain is we don't get enough sun to make use of solar power.

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James Powell
James Powell 27 Feb 2017

This is a very good news.

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DanHumphreys
DanHumphreys 27 Feb 2017

It sounds like a good idea. Anything to help the younger generation get a foothold.

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Matt
Matt 20 Feb 2017

Is this fake news?

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Matthew Hollywood
Matthew Hollywood 07 Feb 2017

Matthew Hollywood - Director Mishon Mackay Land & New Homes - Brighton The shortage of New Homes is in part effected by the lack of land sales. Land sales are held back because there is a disparity between...

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CommercialTrust
CommercialTrust 30 Jan 2017

Hi Graham, Would be interesting to see the above figure calculated against an investment via a Lt Company /SPV structure and if the investor found themselves pushed in to the higher tax bracket. Mortgage...

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