Homeless in London

Government investment vital to tackling housing shortage

The Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee has published a report into how government can help to tackle the chronic housing shortage.

Published today, the report outlines how the financial challenges that social housing providers face is resulting in less social housing being delivered, contributing to the worsening social housing shortage. This has led to a call for government to invest more in the social housing sector to ease those financial burdens and support the delivery of 90,000 new social rent homes a year.

Alongside this, the government has also been urged to look again into how funding is allocated for social rent homes, with this beginning with the establishment and publication of a target for the number of social homes that it intends to build every year.

Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, Clive Betts, said:

“This social housing sector is crucial for providing shelter and support for millions of households. Social landlords are, however, buffeted by a range of serious financial pressures. There is a chronic social housing shortage. There are pressing demands to invest in improving homes, so they are not blighted by mould, damp, and leaks, and to decarbonise the housing stock, and fix building safety defects. More social homes are needed. The government must act to fix this situation by committing to focus investment on building the social homes the country needs.”

London Councils has also welcomed the report, highlighting how the nation’s capital is ‘grappling’ with the worst homelessness crisis in the country as more than 320,000 London households are on waiting lists for social housing. Estimates from the cross-party group found that one in every 50 Londoners is homeless and living in temporary accommodation.

London social housing quote

In a statement from a spokesperson, London Councils commented:

“Without more government investment it is hard to see anything but a bleak future for social housing.

“Our analysis shows London boroughs face a black hole of £700m in their social housing budgets over the next four years, despite the desperate need to improve housing conditions and build new homes in the capital. With resources massively squeezed, it feels like we’ve been left with mission impossible.

“Social housing is crucial to tackling London’s homelessness crisis. It’s a vital component of the capital’s social and economic success, and we should all want the sector to thrive. Boroughs are as keen as ever to work with ministers in ensuring more resources are secured for boosting social housing in London and across the country.”


Image credit: iStock


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