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