Laura Sharman 15 February 2019

Loss of social homes has added billions to housing benefits bill, councils warn

Loss of social homes has added billions to housing benefits bill, councils warn image

The housing benefit bill could have been reduced by billions if 100,000 social homes had been built over the past two decades, council leaders have said today.

The new research by the Local Government Association (LGA) explores the implications if 100,000 government-funded social rent homes had been built every year over the past 20 years.

It found all housing benefit claimants living in the private rented sector would have been able to move to social rent homes by 2016. They also would have benefited from £1.8bn in extra disposable income over the period.

The analysis shows that the Government would have had to borrow an additional £152bn to build the homes, but every pound spent would have generated a £2.84 return.

Cllr Martin Tett, LGA housing spokesman, said: ‘The last time this country built homes at the scale that we need now was in the 1970s when councils built more than 40% of them. With millions of people on social housing waiting lists, councils want to get on with the job of building the new homes that people in their areas desperately need.

’By scrapping the housing borrowing cap, the Government showed it had heard our argument that councils must be part of the solution to our chronic housing shortage. Allowing councils to keep 100% of their Right to Buy receipts is the next step to deliver the renaissance in council housebuilding we need as a nation.’

Basic income pilots image

Basic income pilots

Gail Irvine finds out how local government in Scotland is leading the way on basic income.
Highways jobs

Civil Enforcement Officer

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 4 - Starting at £20,415 per annum and rising to £21,777
This role will require you to assist with the safe and free flow of traffic by patrolling on foot and / or mobile controlled parking areas and issu... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Administrative Support Officer - Conservative Group

Brent Council
£29,241 - £30,711 (pro rata)
This post will provide efficient, effective and flexible support to members of the Conservative Opposition Group... Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Chair

Cornwall Investment Delivery Company
Remuneration commensurate with the challenge
We are looking for a Chair to establish the new company, oversee the development of its strategy. Truro, Cornwall
Recuriter: Cornwall Investment Delivery Company

Managing Director

Cornwall Investment Delivery Company
Remuneration commensurate with the challenge
Looking for someone with a strong development background, real commercial credentials. Truro, Cornwall
Recuriter: Cornwall Investment Delivery Company

Non-Executive Directors

Cornwall Investment Delivery Company
Remuneration commensurate with the challenge
Looking for Non-Executive Directors who will bring their commercial experience and skills to this new company’s dynamic. Truro, Cornwall
Recuriter: Cornwall Investment Delivery Company

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The December issue of Local Government News looks at the consequences a council may face if it is unable to provide statutory services, the launch of Liverpool’s housing company and how councils can best manage roles in local authority companies.

It also has a special section on green building and energy efficiency including what funding is available to enable councils to deliver heat networks and how councils can pay for ‘smart buildings’.

Register for your free magazine