The General Election on 8 June has resulted in a hung
Parliament. A minority government is likely to give rise to some
uncertainty, at least in the short term, about the direction of
future housing policy.
Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell, who had heralded a change of
emphasis in Conservative housing policy following the
Cameron/Osborne government, also lost his Croydon Central seat at
the election. Even assuming that the Conservative Party as the
largest single party form the next government, we will see a new
Housing Minister at DCLG.
The good news is that the two major parties in their election
manifestos proffered support for council housing, although with
significant difference in emphasis in the detail.
The Conservative Party manifesto acknowledged what ARCH has been
saying for some time i.e."We will never achieve the number of new
houses we require without the active participation of social and
municipal housing providers".
ARCH will continue to make this point to all parties and to
press the new government to unlock the potential to invest in
council housing by re-instating the principles of self-financing
introduced with all-party support under the Localism Act 2011 and
allow all local
authorities to invest in council housing and the opportunity to
The future of "bespoke housing deals" remains uncertain. ARCH
members will be aware that we had been leading discussions
with DCLG on how those deals would work in practice and we look
forward to our next meeting with officials scheduled on 30 June to
seek clarification on this and other matters.
Remember too that going into the election the Conservative
Government had not yet brought forward the necessary Regulations
through Parliament to enact the provisions in the Housing and
Planning Act 2016 relating to the introduction of fixed-term
tenancies and the high value asset levy. There is therefore
increased opportunity to lobby an incoming minority government on
ARCH will continue to make the case for council housing with the
new government when formed.