9 out of 10 local authorities do not provide enough affordable housing, says thinktank

by Gary Whittaker

A new study by thinktank IPPR has said 92 per cent of local authorities do not provide enough affordable housing.

The research concluded that much more needs to be done to bolster the supply of affordable homes, including at central government level. It advocated legislation to allow local councils to borrow money to build new council housing and more devolved powers over housing for metro mayors.

Indeed, the problem is not just to do with affordable homes, as 67 per cent of local authorities are falling short in terms of the overall numbers of homes being provided.

The study found the only part of England where the supply of new homes meets the need is the Tees Valley, while the west of England and West Midlands each fall short by 1,060 and 2,812 homes a year respectively. The biggest shortfall was found in Greater Manchester, which was down by 42 per cent on the number needed. 

Among the other findings were that house prices are out of reach for many people on average incomes, with even median monthly rents not being affordable until after tax earnings reach £18,959 in Greater Manchester, £19,131 in the West Midlands and £33,167 in the West of England. Also, most affordable housing products on offer in combined authority areas are outside the reach of single people. 

IPPR recommended that affordable housing target figures for developers should be set at 35 per cent, with the figure rising to 50 per cent when the plot homes are built on is divested public land. 

Commenting on the situation, IPPR researcher Darren Baxter said: "The newly elected mayors should use their powers to take on the housing crisis and get their local councils building, including working to bring land to market for social and affordable rent.

"If it is serious about tackling the housing crisis, government will work with mayors to ensure they are equipped with the powers they need to drive local house building programmes their regions need.” 

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13-November-17General Lettings News