Last year, the LGA set up a Housing Commission last year
to explore how a renewed investment in the different new homes
that people need can deliver significant wider benefits for
Over the past eight months the LGA Housing Commission has heard
from developers, planners, charities, health partners, housing
associations and many others including ARCH and it published early findings at the second day of
the LGA's Annual Conference this week (6 July).
The report finds councils should be enabled to help build more
homes that plug gaps in the market - particularly building the next
generation of affordable homes, homes meeting the needs of those in
crisis, and to support a healthy and ageing population.
We're delighted that the report reflects our call for a
renaissance in council house building in our manifesto. We
support the Commission's findings that:
- "Council house building must be at the centre of a renewed
effort to deliver homes that generate growth"; and
- "calls on the Government to build on the principles of
self-financing and provide certainty and flexibility for councils
to invest in much needed social housing through their Housing
The report also says that the economic uncertainty facing
housebuilders following the UK's vote to leave the European Union
could make it difficult for private developers to rapidly build
enough homes on their own.
Research by the LGA also shows that four million working people
will need access to some type of affordable housing even if the
country achieves full employment by 2024. Their analysis revealed
that widespread demand for affordable homes will be much
higher should the country fail to train millions to take the higher
skilled and higher paid jobs that are projected to be created by
At the LGA Annual Conference this week, local government leaders
insist a "national renaissance" in council housebuilding must
be central to solving the chronic housing shortage, and for
delivering the mix of different homes that meet the growing and
changing needs of communities.
The last time the country was building more than the 250,000
houses, as estimated the nation currently needs, was in 1977/78,
when councils built 44 per cent of new homes.
Cllr Peter Box, LGA Housing spokesman, said:
"The housing crisis is affecting more and more families every
year. For many, studying hard and succeeding in work will no longer
guarantee an affordable and decent place to live.
"Even if the country is able to achieve full employment in
2024, around four million working people will need some type of
affordable housing as wages struggle to keep pace with house
"Bold new action is needed and in the wake of the UK's
decision to leave the European Union. National and local government
must come together around our joint ambition to build homes and
strong, inclusive communities.
"A renaissance in house building by councils must be at the
heart of this bold new action. The private sector clearly plays a
crucial role but it cannot build the homes we need on its own, and
will likely be further restricted by uncertainties in the months
and years ahead.
"The focus of councils is beyond bricks and mortar.
Investment in housing has significant wider benefits and we want to
build the right homes in the right places that can generate growth
and jobs, help meet the needs of our ageing population, and provide
the infrastructure, schools and hospitals that enable communities
"We must be freed to make this change happen. Today, our LGA
Housing Commission aims to build on what we know works so that
councils and our partners can lead the building of homes,
communities and prosperity for future generations."
John Bibby, ARCH Chief Executive, welcomed the
LGA Report and also called for a renaissance in council house
"With the uncertainty around Britain's exit from the EU, now
is the time for the government to invest in Britain's
infrastructure including new municipal housing. If Britain is to
re-assert its independence in a global economy, it's essential that
working people have access to decent affordable housing and a
renaissance in council house building will ensure the provision of
an appropriate mix of housing of all tenures which is essential in
attracting employers and employees to an area and creating a
flexible and mobile workforce.
"The previous Coalition Government put in place the
framework to enable councils to invest in much needed social
housing through the self-financing regime introduced in 2012. The
new Prime Minister needs to re-affirm the principles of
self-financing to enable councils to invest in new council housing
for the benefit of lower paid workers and the economy as a