Government urged to increase social housing delivery

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The Social Housing Commission set up by Shelter has called for a further three million social homes over the next 20 years to help combat the on-going housing crisis

This week sees the publication of A Vision for Social Housing, the report of the commission set up by Shelter in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy.

As well as identifying how social housing needs to change to respond to the concerns identified by tenants, the social housing commission sets out solutions to the wider housing crisis in England. One of the commission’s key recommendations is the need to “rediscover public housing as a pillar of national infrastructure” and deliver a substantial increase in the scale of social housing delivery – three million social homes over 20 years, equivalent to 150,000 a year.

The Shelter report identifies that fewer than 7,000 social rent homes were provided by councils and housing associations last year, comprising only 14% of all types of affordable homes delivered through Government programmes.

The social housing commission also warns that failing to accept the wider value and long-term cost benefits of large-scale social housebuilding will undermine the Government’s wider plans to address the housing crisis and tackle homelessness.

Former Labour leader and member of the independent panel of commissioners, Ed Miliband said: “The time for the government to act is now. We have never felt so divided as a nation, but building social homes is a priority for people right across our country.

“This is a moment for political boldness on social housing investment that we have not seen for a generation.

“It is the way to restore hope, build strong communities and fix the broken housing market so that we meet both the needs and the aspirations of millions of people.”

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire added: “Providing quality and fair social housing is a priority for this government and our Social Housing Green Paper seeks to ensure it can both support social mobility and be a stable base that supports people when they need it.

“We’ve asked tenants across the country for their views and the thousands of responses we’ve received will help us design the future of social housing.”

The social housing commission’s 23 recommendations will be presented to PM Theresa May and labour leader Jeremy Corbyn today (8 January).

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