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ARCH annual report


The ARCH annual report for 2015-16 is now available to view.


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Election casts doubt on future housing policy 09/06/2017

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 build again.  


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 these issues.


ARCH will continue to make the case for council housing with the new government when formed.

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