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

 

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Influencing the housing debate 25/05/2017

Commitments on housing in the manifestos of the main political parties for the General Election reflect, in part, the case for council housing put forward by ARCH.

 

Prior to publication of the party manifestos, ARCH, together with colleagues at the National Federation of ALMOs (NFA), re-iterated the case for council housing and the case for investing in council housing and encouraging councils to build. 

 

The Conservative Party Manifesto recognises the argument put forward by ARCH stating:"we will never achieve the number of new houses we require without the active participation of social and municipal housing providers"and promises to"enter into new Council Housing Deals with ambitious, pro-development, local authorities to help them build more social housing"

 

ARCH has also been working with colleagues in the NFA, CIH and CIPFA to make the case for greater flexibilities for local authorities and if a Conservative government is re-elected, we look forward to continuing the discussions we have already opened with officials at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) on the framework for such deals.    

 

The Labour Party Manifesto commits a Labour Government by the end of the next parliament "to be building at least 100,000 council and housing association homes a year for genuinely affordable rent or sale". This reflects the case put forward in October last year when ARCH came together with the NFA, The Local Government Association and SHOUT (the campaign for social housing) to commission research by City consultancy, Capital Economics, to assess the impact of future investment in social rented housing on the UK economy in the light of Brexit.  The report by Capital Economics showed that building 100,000 social rented homes a year would, in the long-term, save the country billions whatever happens to the economy post-Brexit.

 

The Liberal Democrat Manifesto too supports investment in council housing, setting out an ambition to reach "…a housebuilding target of 300,000 by 2022 including 500,000 affordable and energy efficient homes" and calling for "the lifting of the borrowing cap on local authorities and increasing the borrowing capacity of housing associations so that they can build council and social housing".

 

ARCH chief executive, John Bibby, comments:

 

"The current housing crisis has been decades in the making and housing has rightly featured high in the public debate ahead of the General Election. ARCH welcomes the emphasis the main parties have placed on housing policy in their manifestos.

 

Whatever the electorate decide on 8 June, ARCH will continue to make the case for council housing and, with the right support from the new government, stock retained councils can make a valuable contribution to building the affordable homes we so desperately need."

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