Housing Affordability Of Concern To Most Councils
Top of the list for most councils across Britain is the pressing issue of housing costs. The cost of housing across Britain is now at levels not seen before and is likely to be pushed higher. All waiting lists for housing across Britain have grown dramatically over the last couple of years as the government has introduced the bedroom tax and reduced the amount of housing benefit that is paid out.
The government has been blamed for much of the current crisis because some of their policies have had a direct impact on low income families many of which have been made homeless. Councils are become so desperate that affordable housing now ranks as the top of the list to be improved. Chief executives at most councils have said that housing has pushed other services down the pecking order. Social care, health care services, and the cost of living are now lower down on the most councils list of priorities.
The Government Has Been Blamed For The Lack Of Affordable Homes
The government has not helped because it has driven up the demand for social housing by pushing up house prices and the cost of renting a home. They have also introduced rent caps on some of the most expensive homes in London which is understandable but not if you are a tenant. The government has also been selling off council houses and has increased the level of discount that council tenants are entitled to recently.
Coupled with all of this is the fact that we are building fewer council houses that at any time since the end of world war two. It is no surprise that we are in this current situation and is unlikely to change even if there is a change of government. The Labour party has been critical of the government's housing policies but they have been complicit because they also built very few affordable homes when they were in government.
Government To Build 200,000 New Homes Over Next 5 Years
The government has said that it will build 200,000 new starter homes over the next 5 years but current estimates show that we need to build 300,000 new homes every year just to satisfy current demand levels.
All of this comes at a time when councils current budgets are under sever pressure from the government who are looking for further savings. Local councilors are asking where is the money going to come from to build these new homes.
The councils are entitled to the money received from the sale of existing councils houses but this money is nowhere near en ought to build enough homes. There is always the danger that this money gets diverted elsewhere and gets lost in the system.