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),
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