Briefing: Local Decisions & Fairer Future for Social Housing

Published on December 1, 2010

Published on December 1, 2010

The Government fails yet again to address the Housing needs of most of the population. It has noticed that the social housing sector is broken, then proceeds to ignore it.

This consultation paper provides detail on announcements made
in the comprehensive spending review, including the introduction of ‘flexible
tenancies’ for new council and housing association tenants and a new housing
association ‘affordable rent’ tenancy, with rents of up to 80% local market rents.
The Government sets out its view that social housing is a broken, centrally-controlled
system, with inflexible ‘lifetime’ tenancies and rents, and that it is in need of reform.
At best, the proposals simply ignore the huge need for low-cost secure rented housing
in stable communities where households may safely raise their families and eventually
grow old, particularly in London with its high land and property values, high levels of
housing need and lack of affordability, which are disproportionate to the rest of the
country.
At worst the proposals, combined with housing benefit changes and the 50% cut in
funding for new affordable housing, are a recipe for increased transience and
destabilised communities, higher levels of overcrowding and a harsh forcing of
working class households away from London, particularly from central and inner
London.