Construction of homes for social rent drops 80 per cent in a decade

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Recent figures released by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government have identified that just 6,463 homes for social rent were built in England between 2017-18. Almost a decade ago, this figure stood at 30,000.

In England, 1.25m families were registered on waiting lists for social housing between 2016-17, with around two-thirds waiting for more than a year. As reported in The Future of Social Homes for Rent, on average an English local authority has more than 3,500 families on its books.

Mark Robinson, our chief executive, comments: “It seems that the government has finally recognised that local councils need to be contributing towards meeting housing targets, but it will take years to turn back the clock on decades of undersupply. Given the concerns expressed by both the public and elected councillors, a solution needs to be found, however radical. In 2018, local authorities will be contributing just tens of thousands of new homes; in 1977, councils built 121,000 homes.”

The Prime Minister recently announced that the government is set to lift the Housing Revenue Account cap, which means that councils will be able to borrow against their assets to fund new development.

Councils must be empowered to build social housing themselves, as they were in the 1970s.

Mark Robinson
SCAPE, group chief executive

Our report recommends Modern Methods of Construction as the solution to reducing build time, to tackle waiting lists.

We are committed to helping the public sector deliver the affordable housing stock the country needs. One recent example is in Doncaster, to meet the borough's current and future housing targets of delivering an estimated 920 homes per annum. Discover more about the project here, where over 300 affordable family homes have been delivered across 14 sites.