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A council housing renaissance to help solve Britain's housing needs 03/02/2015

ARCH Manifesto 300

Councils should be given the freedom to build more homes to help kick start a council housing renaissance.


That's the message from the National Federation of ALMOs and the Association of Retained Council Housing today, who together manage four fifths of the council homes in England.


Ahead of May's General Election they have for the first time united the council housing sector to produce a manifesto that sets out a series of practical policies which would see councils and ALMOs play a key role in meeting the country's housing needs.


Key recommendations in the manifesto include:


  • Support for the removal of debt caps which would provide the financial capacity to build 20,000 homes a year. It would also increase councils' capacity to invest in their existing stock.


  • Reforms to the bureaucratic arrangements that hinder local authorities replacing homes sold under Right to Buy, with extra help to ensure a one for one replacement.


  • A review of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to enable councils to get a fairer division of 'planning gain' between landowners and local communities.

ARCH Chair, Cllr Paul Ellis said:


"In 2014 councils and ALMOs began the construction of more than 2,000 new homes, which is more than in any year since 1992. While this is a good start, the measures that we are calling for today will not only facilitate a renaissance in the building of council homes, but also help the country to address some of the fundamental issues that are stifling the supply of new homes."


NFA Chair, Sue Roberts MBE said:


"This is the first time that the NFA and ARCH have come together to unite the council housing sector. We therefore call on all political parties to listen to the practical and implementable solutions in our manifesto which aims to ensure that the welfare of our tenants and the building of new homes are at the forefront of the next government's plans."


At a parliamentary reception in Westminster tenants from both retained council housing and ALMOs, as well as housing managers and councillors, will join leading politicians to mark the launch of the manifesto.


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