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

Oliver Conway
Oliver Conway 18 May 2017

Making a neat inventory is a good idea, but if the seller is not willing to provide it, can the buyer demand it?

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Bertrand
Bertrand 17 May 2017

First step to nationalisation of the private rented sector IMHO. Nanny state poking their noses into things yet again. I object, as a decent landlord, sometimes having to deal with some pretty awful tenants,...

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Izzy
Izzy 16 May 2017

This is such a great a post. I love the detail you've gone into. It's a very useful article for helping those who are looking at deciding which sector they would like to go into! When I first started investing...

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paul burnham
paul burnham 30 Apr 2017

Jeremy Corbyn's pledge that a Labour government would build 500,000 new council houses must electrify the general election campaign. Reliance on markets and the profit motive has brought huge housing-related...

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CommercialTrust
CommercialTrust 28 Apr 2017

Sadiq Khan?s announcement of an online database of landlords and letting agents who have been convicted of housing offences, appears on face value to be a variation of the already implemented Database

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warren
warren 26 Apr 2017

You're very welcome Mary! Glad you enjoyed them :)

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Mary Ward
Mary Ward 26 Apr 2017

Thank you for the wonderful ideas. First impressions can make or break a deal. It's sadly that many homeowners drop the kerb to create an off-street parking space.

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Tony Gimple
Tony Gimple 14 Apr 2017

I'm not at all surprised that so many landlords are still confused about what the tax changes really mean and how it will affect them. In particular, the blind rush to incorporation is leaving landlords...

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MH
MH 13 Apr 2017

You are right that the bank holidays are going to be spoiled in looking for the properties. But people who want to sell their property and looking for the better relocation, they can get benefits of this...

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bnellyb
bnellyb 08 Apr 2017

There will be an exodus of private landlords over the next 5 years as tax changes take effect, private landlords provide an important service to the rental market, why do housing associations and councils...

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Fred Cassman
Fred Cassman 07 Apr 2017

"Make it look like you are at home": often people forget this and share on facebook their location!

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jared townsend
jared townsend 05 Apr 2017

It'll be interesting to see how & if the Government's asset sale regarding mortgages helps

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