Javid launches social housing Green Paper

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Communities and Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid, has announced at the NHF conference that the government will launch a social housing Green Paper

Javid said the new social housing Green Paper would be “something the public can be proud of”.

Speaking at the National Housing Federation (NHF) conference, the communities secretary used examples of previous ministers such as Harold Macmillan, when social housing “was something people aspired to live in”.

He said that following the Grenfell disaster it was now more important to challenge “outdated” perceptions.

The social housing Green Paper will look at what has gone ‘wrong’ in social housing and how to fix it.

He said: “The Green Paper will inform government policy and the wider debate.”

Javid added that the paper would look at “not only how we can fix problems but how we can learn from them.”

David Orr, chief executive at the NHF, said: “We welcome the secretary of state’s announcement of a Green Paper and we share the government’s ambition to make social housing a badge of honour for the nation. But there are things we can and must do right now – like restarting public investment in good quality, genuinely affordable housing.

“Immediately reallocating the unspent £1.1bn for starter homes would be a step in the right direction, and would in turn bring the housing benefit bill down. We look forward to working in partnership with government and delivering homes of all kinds for people on low income.”

CIH chief executive, Terrie Alafat CBE, said: “The time is right for fundamental review of social housing so it’s encouraging to hear Sajid Javid’s commitment today.

“As well as putting the needs of tenants at its heart, this review must address the crucial issue of government funding for genuinely affordable housing. Our latest research shows that government investment in the private market dwarfs support for affordable housing and especially support for homes at the most affordable social rents.

“Ministers need to take an urgent look at rebalancing the housing budget and investing more in genuinely affordable homes for rent.”

Alafat said the social housing Green Paper should also consider the welfare reforms that have been introduced since 2012 and measures due to be rolled out over the next few years.

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