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Housing Association latest news and information.

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London has the biggest housing shortfall in the country

The shortfall is over seven times higher than many other regions in England and is over double the next highest region, the South East, which has a shortfall of 85,284.

The figures are from a report London Home Truths 2017/18 by the National Housing Federation, which analyses key housing data across England annually.

The National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations, social landlords to over 2.7 million homes, says most of this housing gap could be met by unlocking public land. The City Hall’s register of public land (1) shows there are 36,287 sites of public land that could be built on. According to the Mayor of London’s office, if all of these were unlocked, a minimum of 130,000 homes could be built.

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Government need to invest significantly in tackling housing crisis

Government needs to invest significantly more in genuinely affordable homes and be far bolder in its support for councils if it is to meet the ambition to deliver 300,000 new homes a year, according to a major study by the TCPA, funded by the Nationwide Foundation. 

The report has revealed appetite for innovation from councils right across the country, but also concerns from many councils about their ability to deliver genuinely affordable homes available at social-rent levels.

The research, involving a survey of 76 councils, found that social rent is the most in-demand housing tenure among over half of English councils, although in 2016/17 just 5,380 new social rented homes were built in England.2 Further to this, 80% of councils said that increasing grant levels would encourage councils to build more affordable homes, and 2/3 of councils said that lifting the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) borrowing cap would allow them to build more homes (which the government has done in the budget, although this is limited to areas with ‘high affordability pressures’).

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Right to buy: too many being sold, not enough replacements being built

Figures released by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have revealed that 11,465 homes were sold by councils under the right to buy scheme in 2017/18, while only 4,944 were started or acquired to replace them using the receipts.

Since right to buy discounts were increased in April 2012 66,647 homes have been sold, while 17,911 have been started or acquired to replace them

Chartered Institute of Housing chief executive Terrie Alafat CBE said “It cannot be right that not only are we not building enough homes for social rent, we are losing them at a time when we need them more than ever. Our analysis shows that we have lost more than 150,000 social rented homes between 2012 and 2017 due to right to buy and other factors, and that figure will reach 230,000 by 2020 unless we take action now.

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Small sites and small builders will build homes faster

The best way to speed up housing delivery is to get more small builders back into the market and focus more attention on the potential of smaller sites, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Brian Berry Chief Executive of the FMB, said “Small sites tend to deliver more quickly and smaller builders, for whom short term financing is more of a concern, have every incentive to build and sell quickly. More opportunities for these smaller developments will diversify the market, boost capacity and speed up delivery. The Government has clearly recognised this, and is setting out a raft of changes to national planning policy that will encourage more small sites to come forward. We particularly welcome the move to ensure that at least 20% of the sites identified for housing in local authority’s plans are smaller sites.

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Government confirms massive funding boost for social housing

Secretary of State for Communities, The Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, has confirmed a massive funding boost for social housing across the country.

Over £1bn has been secured in the social housing deal, which will deliver 23,000 affordable homes across the UK through a new generation of council housing. The funding is aimed at helping solve the housing crisis and provide the country with the homes communities need.

Some £1.67bn will be invested in providing more than 23,000 new affordable homes, including at least 12,500 social rent homes in high cost areas in a move to support families struggling to pay their rent.

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Housing associations and councils key to tackling chronic shortage of affordable homes

New ‘Solving the Housing Crisis?’ programme examines the contribution social housing makes to our society and what the government can do to support people in need of a home.

Terrie Alafat CBE, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), said "Can we really call ourselves a civilised society if we are not providing affordable homes for people who need them?"

Interviewed exclusively for 'Solving the Housing Crisis?', a news and current affairs-style programme created by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and ITN Productions, Terrie Alafat also championed the work of local authorities and housing associations.

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House building review calls for changes to ensure new homes are built faster

A review of house building has called for changes to the current system to ensure new homes are built faster and for thousands more British bricklayers to be trained to help meet government targets.

Sir Oliver Letwin was commissioned by the government to examine what could be done to speed up the slow rate of house building on major sites.

His study, published today, warns developers are slowing the system down by limiting the number of new built homes that are released for sale at any one time.

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