Planning and Housing

16.11.17

Housing associations classified as private in bid to fix market’s ‘many faults’

The government will reclassify housing associations as private organisations in an attempt to encourage further borrowing and increase housebuilding in the country.

Debt related to these bodies – which could be as high as £70bn – will therefore be removed from the government’s balance sheet.

Announced today by prime minister Theresa May and communities secretary Sajid Javid, the move is a response to multiple calls from the public sector for action to combat the housing crisis.

Critics say the move will not solve the issues at the root of the crisis and will fail to provide the 100,000 new affordable homes needed in the UK.

But Javid argued the move would help to ease pressures on the market and solve the problem of future generations being “rootless” and unable to settle and add value to a community.

The majority of the UK’s housebuilding last year was completed by private companies, so the secretary of state hopes that making housing associations private will free them up to borrow and build the 300,000 new homes needed in the country every year.

In a speech at the Temple Meads Quarter in Bristol, he is expected to say: “The generation crying out for help with housing is not over-entitled. They do not want the world handed to them on a plate. They want simple fairness, moral justice, the opportunity to play by the same rules enjoyed by those who came before them.

Our Housing White Paper in February set out our broad vision. It described the scale of the challenge and the need for action on many fronts. Since then we have been putting it into action, laying the foundations for hundreds of thousands more homes.

“But there are many, many faults in our housing market, dating back many, many years. If you only fix one you will make some progress, but not enough. This is a big problem and we have to think big.”

In response to the announcement, shadow secretary for housing John Healey claimed the government still had no plan to fix the crisis and that things would continue to get worse.

“The number of newly-built homes is still far below what is needed,” he added. “Just as importantly, the number of new genuinely affordable social rented homes is at the lowest level since records began and the number of new low-cost homes to buy has halved since 2010.

“The public must have confidence that new homes being built will be affordable to them and their families. If the prime minister wants to help families on ordinary incomes, she should back Labour’s plan to build 100,000 new genuinely affordable homes a year, help first-time buyers and give renters new consumer rights including control on rents.”

May also addressed the proposals yesterday whilst visiting a housing development in Barnet. She acknowledged that the country was not doing enough to keep up with housing demand for the “people who need it most.”

“Today I am seeing the work now underway to put this right and, in coming weeks and months, my government will be going further to ensure that we build more homes, more quickly,” continued the PM. “This will be a long journey and it will take time for us to fix the broken housing market - but I am determined to build a Britain fit for the future.”

The Conservative Party’s other housing plans have come under scrutiny this year, with critics describing an additional £10bn offered for the Help to Buy as akin to “throwing petrol on a bonfire.”

However, the government claims the scheme has already helped 130,000 people to get on the property ladder this year and will continue to use it to provide support.

Top image: Duncan Andison

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

David Starling   16/11/2017 at 12:06

So will they then not be required to participate in "Right to Buy" or Public Sector Procurement Requirements?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

District and borough authorities begin challenge against Nottinghamshire super-council

20/07/2018District and borough authorities begin challenge against Nottinghamshire super-council

Gedling council members have emphatically outlined their stance against a potential mega-merger in Nottinghamshire that could see borough and dis... more >
Northamptonshire new CEO approved by Full Council to lead area through ‘unprecedented time of change’

20/07/2018Northamptonshire new CEO approved by Full Council to lead area through ‘unprecedented time of change’

Northamptonshire County Council’s new chief executive has been endorsed at the authority’s Full Council meeting yesterday, with the a... more >
‘Naming and shaming index’ for bankrupt councils fails to offer genuine solution

20/07/2018‘Naming and shaming index’ for bankrupt councils fails to offer genuine solution

An index designed to measure councils’ financial resilience in order to avoid another Northamptonshire-style fiasco would actually risk ove... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
District and borough authorities begin challenge against Nottinghamshire super-council

20/07/2018District and borough authorities begin challenge against Nottinghamshire super-council

Gedling council members have emphatically outlined their stance against a potential mega-merger in Nottinghamshire that could see borough and district authorities being scrapped. Nottinghams... more >
Northamptonshire new CEO approved by Full Council to lead area through ‘unprecedented time of change’

20/07/2018Northamptonshire new CEO approved by Full Council to lead area through ‘unprecedented time of change’

Northamptonshire County Council’s new chief executive has been endorsed at the authority’s Full Council meeting yesterday, with the authority’s leader saying the new CEO “... more >

the raven's daily blog

One step closer to voter IDs at elections

19/07/2018One step closer to voter IDs at elections

Chloe Smith MP, Minister for the Constitution, evaluates the outcomes of the voter ID pilots conducted at the last local elections. We are one step closer to strengthening the integrity of our electoral system through requiring electors to confirm their identity before they vote, building on the government’s commitment to safeguard ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

One step closer to voter IDs at elections

19/07/2018One step closer to voter IDs at elections

Chloe Smith MP, Minister for the Constitution, evaluates the outcomes of the voter ID pilots conducted at the last local elections. We are o... more >
Accountability in government: what next?

02/07/2018Accountability in government: what next?

Benoit Guerin, senior researcher at the Institute for Government (IfG), explains why accountability in government needs improving and sets out wh... more >
Potholes: The scourge of the roads

02/07/2018Potholes: The scourge of the roads

Potholes are a scourge on our roads and can have much farther-reaching consequences than one might think. Re-routing just a small amount of exist... more >
Can data save the future of children?

02/07/2018Can data save the future of children?

Ingrid Koehler, service innovation lead at the LGiU, takes a look at the untapped potential for a digital, data-led transformation of children&rs... more >

interviews

Data at the heart of digital transformation

03/04/2018Data at the heart of digital transformation

SPONSORED INTERVIEW Grant Caley, UK & Ireland chief technologist at NetApp, speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the benefits of movin... more >
GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

03/04/2018GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

SPONSORED INTERVIEW PSE’s Josh Mines chats to Martin de Martini, CIO of Y Soft, about what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)... more >
Keeping London safe

05/03/2018Keeping London safe

Theo Blackwell, London’s first-ever chief digital officer (CDO), speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the role he plays in ensuring the... more >
BIM: Digitising the public sector

19/02/2018BIM: Digitising the public sector

PSE’s Josh Mines talks to Stephen Crompton, CTO at GroupBC, and Stuart Bell, the company’s sales and marketing director, about how Bu... more >

public sector focus

View all News