From the archive – review calls for doubling of housing investment – Inside Housing

Inside Housing looks back at what was happening in the sector this week five, 15 and 25 years ago this week

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25 years ago this week – a study found homeless people evicted by relatives were often in greater need of housing #ukhousing


15 years ago this week – the government-backed Barker report recommended a doubling of social housing investment #ukhousing


Five years ago this week – associations were looking to scale back their PRS involvement due to market concern #ukhousing


25 years ago

A study found that homeless people evicted by relatives were often in greater need of housing than others on the waiting list.

The study – carried out by Hounslow London Borough Council – came as housing minister Sir George Young was proposing that those classed as “homeless at home” should lose their rights to be rehoused.

Hounslow found that if allocations were made on housing need rather than statutory duties, more than half the people evicted by families in the previous three months would have gone to the front of the queue.

Of 208 cases analysed, well over 100 scored more than 60 points, which would normally be enough to secure the offer of a council tenancy.

Homeless people evicted by friends and relatives scored higher because of their lack of security as licensees.

15 years ago

A long-awaited government-backed report on housing supply recommended that investment in social housing be doubled amid a radical overhaul of funding, development and planning.

The report by economist Kate Barker concluded that between 17,000 and 23,000 extra new affordable homes should be built in England each year, requiring an additional £1.6bn of investment annually.

Speaking to Inside Housing, Ms Barker suggested that the government could redirect resources to new build by moving its focus away from its Decent Homes Standard.

“I’m not opposed to the Decent Homes Standard,” she said. “The question I’m raising now is whether we ought to shift the balance back a bit towards meeting some need.”

She also said that the Right to Buy could be “scaled back”, with more alternative routes to homeownership introduced that did not reduce social housing stock.

In delivering his spring Budget, just hours after the report’s publication, then-chancellor Gordon Brown promised to take forward a number of its recommendations.

Five years ago

Housing associations said they were scaling back their plans to enter the private rented sector (PRS) because of the booming housing market in London and the South East.

Just a year after landlords unveiled proposals to plough hundreds of millions of pounds into supporting a drive from the coalition government to roll out large-scale PRS housing, they warned government that its initiatives to boost homeownership, such as the £12bn Help to Buy scheme, were undermining their efforts.

Big hitters including Affinity Sutton, Notting Hill Housing and The Guinness Partnership all confirmed that they were among a growing cohort of housing associations reassessing their PRS ambitions as a result of changing market conditions.

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