Cross-party consensus: voters want new homes

// HA News

Voters of all parties in England want to see more housing in their area, especially if it is affordable, the National Housing Federation has revealed ahead of next month’s general election. Fewer than one in 10 (8%) now say no new homes are needed in their area at all.

Across the British Social Attitudes survey, carried out by NatCen, voters are clear that they want homes affordable to people on average incomes to be built in their local area regardless of their political identity.

  • Two thirds (64%) of Conservative voters support new affordable homes for local people.
  • Four fifths (83%) of Labour voters also back this type of new housing.
  • Three quarters (75%) of Liberal Democrat identifiers agree.

There is also growing consensus that government intervention in the housing market is needed. Two thirds (63%) of Conservative voters believe government should give financial assistance to help low-income workers pay their rent.

Over eight in 10 (83%) Labour voters and nearly three quarters (73%) of Liberal Democrat identifiers agree.

But despite this unanimous recognition of the need for new homes, few voters felt more new housing should be to rent from private landlords. Just 11% of Conservatives voters, 13% of Labour identifiers and 13% of Liberal Democrat supporters said that new homes for private rent were needed most in their area.

Were the government to sell unused public land to build new homes, support for affordable housing was higher than for homes for market rent or sale across political allegiances.

When it comes to building new homes on public land, four fifths (82%) of Conservative voters, and more than nine in ten Labour (92%) and Lib Dem (93%) identifiers, would prioritise affordable homes to rent and buy - such as those provided by housing associations.

Housing associations match every pound of public investment with six raised privately. They already build around a third of all new homes each year and collectively have a clear ambition to go even further(1).

National Housing Federation figures show that over the next five years the sector as a whole will build over 250,000 new homes.

David Orr, Chief Executive at the National Housing Federation said “The nation’s broken housing market has rightly been at the fore of debate in the run up to the General Election. These findings make it crystal clear that building affordable homes is a vote-winner.

“Voters of all stripes now recognise that too few affordable homes have been built across the country. But housing associations can change that. Our sector is ready and waiting to partner with the new Government to fix this problem once and for all.

“Our message to whoever enters Number 10 on 9 June is simple: with the right support and political will, housing associations can build hundreds of thousands of new homes.”

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