Houses in the UK

Council housebuilding requires ‘generational step-change’ says LGA

The former Chairman of the Local Government Association has said that every area in England should be given a new local housing deal by 2025, leading to a ‘step-change’ in council housebuilding.

Councillor James Jamieson was Chairman of the LGA for four years, with that term coming to an end at the beginning of the organisation’s Annual Conference in Bournemouth on Tuesday 4th July. As he marked the end of his term, Cllr Jamieson set out a six-point plan that will help to deliver council housebuilding ambition, with the delivery of 100 more council homes in every local authority per year.

The six-point plan would see:

  • The roll out of five-year local housing deals to all areas of the country that want them, by 2025. This would combine funding from multiple national housing programmes into a single pot, as well as providing the funding, flexibility, certainty and confidence that is needed to stimulate housing supply and remove nationwide restrictions which inhibit innovation and delivery.
  • Government support in setting up a new national council housebuilding taskforce. This would bring together a team of experts to provide additional capacity and improvement support for housing delivery teams.
  • Continued access to preferential borrowing rates through the Public Works Loans Board (PWLB) in order to support the delivery of social housing and local authority borrowing for Housing Revenue Accounts.
  • Continued reforms to Right to Buy, including the ability for councils to retain 100% of receipts on a permanent basis, flexibility to combine Right to Buy receipts with other government grants, the ability to locally set discount sixes, and the ability to recycle an increase proportion of receipts into building replacement homes paying off housing debt.
  • Reviews and increases to the grant levels per home, where needed. This would be done through the Affordable Homes Programme and would be due to the fact that the cost of building new homes has become more costly thanks to inflationary pressures and has left councils requiring grant funding in order to fund a larger proportion of new build homes than ever before.
  • Certainty on future rents, helping councils to invest. This would see the government committing to a minimum 10-year rent deal for council landlords, allowing a longer period of annual rent increases and longer-term certainty.

Cllr James Jamieson, said:

“Housing is too often unavailable, unaffordable, and is not appropriate for everyone that needs it. The right homes in the right areas can have significant wider benefits for people and communities and prevent future public service challenges and costs.

“Addressing the chronic housing shortage must be a national priority. Our six-point plan would lead to a generational step-change in council housebuilding and give local government the powers and funding to deliver thousands of social homes a year – at scale, and fast.

“A genuine renaissance in council housebuilding would unlock local government’s historic role as a major builder of affordable homes, which support strong and healthy communities and help to build prosperous places.”

There needs to be a focus on doing more to rapidly build additional genuinely affordable homes, because families are struggling to meet the costs of housing, whilst local councils are struggling to provide homes and are looking to tackle homelessness and their long waiting lists.


Image credit: iStock

PSE August/September 2023

PSE August/September 2023

London mayor assisting with creative COVID recovery

Our  August/September 2023 edition of PSE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of key public sector topics, from EV infrastructure to Digital transformation and reducing carbon emissions.


Learn how the role of local government in leading the data revolution or read all about the Manchesters landmark housing scheme, alongside so much more…


View all videos
#PSE365: Public Sector Events

Be A Part Of It!

PSE365: Public Sector Virtual Events

PSE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of public sector services. 


Over 365 days you’ll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.


See our full events calendar and register now! 

Public Sector Executive Podcast

Ep. 44
LGBT in the workplace
with Carl Austin Behan

In episode 44 of the Public Sector Executive Podcast, host Dan Benn was joined by former Lord Mayor of Manchester, Carl Austin-Behan OBE. Carl spoke about everything ranging from his time in the RAF, being Manchester’s first openly gay Lord Mayor, and the important work he does now, with the LGBT Foundation.

More articles...

View all