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ARCH annual report

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

 

Download it here.

SHOUT for social housing Matthew Warburton - 20/06/2014

Megaphone_300pxA new campaign in support of social rented housing was launched this week. SHOUT (Social Housing Under Threat) has issued a 20-page manifesto calling for 100,000 new social rented homes to be built a year and arguing for a subsidies to be shifted from benefits to bricks by winding down the affordable rent programme in favour of homes for social rent.

 

The programme would be funded through a combination of lifting council borrowing caps, increasing Social Housing Grant and tougher planning requirements on private developers. At the launch event, ideas from the manifesto (although not necessarily all of it) were supported by speakers from the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green Parties.

 

Conservative leader of South Holland District Council, Cllr Gary Porter, called for all political parties to support removal of council HRA borrowing from public borrowing definitions to allow councils freedom to invest in new housing. Cllr Porter is also a Vice-Chair of the Local Government Association.

 

Other speakers at the launch included MPs John Healey and Emma Reynolds, for Labour, John Leech from the Lib Dems, Green Leader Natalie Bennett and cross-bench peer Lord Victor Adebowale. Not everyone supported every proposal in the manifesto; there was disagreement in particular on the future of the right to buy, although it is likely that the manifesto demand for one-for-one and like-for-like replacement of sold homes would attract wide support.

 

There is considerable commonality between ARCH policy and the campaign's objectives in relation to councils and council housing, and the ARCH Executive may wish to take a closer look at the campaign manifesto when it meets in July. It was also good to see SHOUT tweeting in support of the ARCH / NFA seminar for councils and ALMOs in the East Midlands on how to build more homes, to be held on 9 July.

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