Until 2019, there was a very restrictive limit to what councils in the UK could borrow in order to build new social and affordable housing (the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap). To get around this restriction, many councils established partnerships with the private sector, including by establishing separate wholly owned council companies (Special Purpose Vehicles)
What are the consequences of this? This briefing sets out the background to Special Purpose Vehicles, some of the consequences and gives several examples of London councils using Special Purpose Vehicles to build housing in their boroughs. Some of the boroughs which have done so include Greenwich, Havering, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth, Newham, Southwark, Sutton, Waltham Forest and Wandsworth.