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.”

Join our mailing list:

Leave a comment



Our Next Event

Complex Lending Roadshow March 2017

Complex Lending Roadshow March 2017

Bolton - 14/03/2017

Barnsley - 15/03/2017

Solihull - 16/03/2017

Watford - 17/03/2017

Register now

Latest Comments

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...

view article
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...

view article
Tony Gimple
Tony Gimple 16 Jan 2017

HMOs do make great commercial sense, but do the area research first!

view article
OJoyce
OJoyce 30 Dec 2016

We can only hope this will bring the results we all want and strive for.

view article
Reality
Reality 21 Dec 2016

The changes to land tax were a shock to many when it was first announced by the Chancellor in 2015?s Autumn Statement. However, once the changes came into place and the full details were digested, it?s...

view article
akbar ali dayala
akbar ali dayala 20 Dec 2016

I am a landlord and director of an online letting agents at the moment we charge tenants minimal fees and landlord also meaning we can get best deals for tenants all around if the ban comes in it...

view article
milessgabriel
milessgabriel 05 Dec 2016

Useful article

view article
Spencer Fortag
Spencer Fortag 30 Nov 2016

I am glad that someone listened to me!

view article
Tony Gimple
Tony Gimple 27 Nov 2016

It's not just the lack of estate agency advice that's costing landlords money; most are getting seriously bad advice from their accountants resulting in tax bills far higher than they need to be. Likewise,...

view article
Sally Walmsley
Sally Walmsley 18 Nov 2016

The RLA stands by its sell-off statistics. While we welcome the feedback from Mr Jagota and are delighted to hear how well things are going for landlords in the north east, we would like to make it clear...

view article
Sheryl87
Sheryl87 18 Nov 2016

The high employment levels and the vibrant economy has led to ever-increasing demand for rental properties, especially from professionals relocations from other cities. This has led to more experts teaming...

view article
Sheryl87
Sheryl87 18 Nov 2016

Renting out your house can be risky business. It's good to think about residential landlords insurance. Standard cover includes buildings cover and cover for loss of rent following damage to a property...

view article

Related stories

More articles from Property