Latest Public Sector News

11.04.16

Housing Bill could unintentionally increase homelessness – LGA leaders

A cross-party group of LGA leaders are backing amendments to the Housing and Planning Bill, currently being debated in the House of Lords.

In a letter to the Guardian, Cllr David Hodge, leader of the LGA Conservative Group, Cllr Sharon Taylor, deputy leader of the Labour group, Cllr Marianne Overton, leader of the Independent group, and Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, say that the Bill’s aim of increasing affordable starter homes for first time buyers risks reducing the number of “genuinely affordable rented homes that our local communities desperately need”.

The Bill contains proposals for councils to make payments to government based on selling council housing.

The council leaders say that these proposals “will hamper councils’ ability to invest in new affordable council housing and are likely to have the unintended consequence of increasing homelessness and pushing more families into the more expensive private rented sector”.

Rough sleeping in England has increased by 30% in the past year.

The council leaders ask the Lords to back amendments meaning that councils can keep enough of the cost from selling every council home to replace it, and to allow councils to decide how many starter homes and how many council homes will be built on each development, to meet local need.

Recent LGA research predicted that the majority of the starter homes will be unaffordable for those who need them.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation also warned that the scheme could lead to housing for the elderly being sold off.

The government have promised increased measures to make it easier for the public to identify surplus government land in the bill, following a PSE story revealing that the Right to Contest scheme has led to just six pieces of surplus land being sold in two years.

The House of Lords’ National Policy for the Built Environment Committee previously criticised the government’s current housing policy, saying that it is unlikely to meet the demand for affordable housing.

Comments

Cllr Angela Newton   18/04/2016 at 16:59

I am amazed this conservative government is trying to force local councils to deal with housing needs through planning procedures. Local councils, through their Local Plans are best placed to know the needs of their local Areas. Bring in Devolution.

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Parliament cannot solve homelessness through legislation alone

Parliament cannot solve homelessness through legislation alone

Cllr Michelle Lowe, deputy leader and cabinet member for housing and health at Sevenoaks District Council, argues that if the government is really serious about combating homelessness they will work more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Time to embrace change

01/03/2017Time to embrace change

The way we work is changing. As a profession, we must be ready to embrace i... more >
Digital Marketplace: reaching far and wide in the public sector

01/03/2017Digital Marketplace: reaching far and wide in the public sector

Over the next few months, the Government Digital Service (GDS) wants to get... more >

interviews

Leading transformational change through procurement

01/03/2017Leading transformational change through procurement

Liz Welton, chair of the Society of Procurement Officers in Local Governmen... more >

the raven's daily blog

Why opening up procurement matters to the UK public sector

22/03/2017Why opening up procurement matters to the UK public sector

Rob Levene, managing director of Bloom, explains why opening up procurement is important to the UK public sector.  Procuring products and services by the UK public s... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

21/02/2017Untapped potential

As PSE went to press, the government had just released its Industrial Strategy green paper, which has an ambitious aim to “improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country”.  Overall, the strategy was welcomed across the public sector. However, as you’ll read throughout this edition of the magazine, in order to make the aspirations a reality, there needs to be a greater level of freedom for all... read more >