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Broken housing market means cost of repairs as steep as new builds

Councils have once again sent warnings about the sluggish rate of housebuilding in England as it was revealed that the average new home will have to last 2,000 years if the current rate of housebuilding and replacement continues.

In new analysis published by the LGA, it was found that due to this lack of new builds, existing homes must house more people and last for longer, leading to the country spending nearly as much on repair and maintenance of existing homes as it does building new ones. In 2016, for example, £27bn was spent repairing existing homes while £35bn was spent on new builds.

The LGA went on to explain that one in 10 new homebuyers are dissatisfied with the quality of their home, and that one in six would not recommend their housebuilder to a friend.

Local authority leaders also raised concern about the private rented sector, where 28% of homes are not in a decent state. Council-run homes, however, are in a better state, with 85% meeting the decent homes standard – a considerable increase from 70% in 2008.

As a result, the LGA once again called for a “national renaissance” in council housebuilding in order to solve the housing shortage and improve the quality of new homes.

“Our country’s failure to build enough homes over the past few decades is putting huge pressure on our existing housing stock,” said Cllr Judith Blake, the association’s housing spokesperson.

“Families are having to spend more on rent or mortgages every month and deserve a decent home that is affordable,” she argued. “But as costs are rising, so is dissatisfaction with the standards of new homes.

“Councils need to be able to ensure quality through the planning system, and to encourage high standards in rented and owned properties across the board.”

She also reiterated calls to the government to enable councils to borrow cash in order build new homes and meet requirements in their area.

“To spark a desperately-needed renaissance in council housebuilding, councils also need to able to borrow to build new homes and keep all receipts from any homes they sell to reinvest in building new homes that are of a good quality and affordable,” Cllr Blake concluded.

Top Image: Duncan Andison

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Steven Boxall   22/08/2017 at 14:40

You may find my blog on how to solve the housing crisis of interest The solutions are simple but not simplistic, and a return to council led social housing is very much part of it. 'We' also must accept that the current model is broken and no amount of tinkering will fix it.

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