Government 'must do more' to provide affordable homes

Government 'must do more' to provide affordable homes

The government must do more to deliver on its promise of delivering more than 400,000 affordable homes across the UK, it has been revealed. 

In a report compiled by the published by the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) and the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) to address the housing shortage in existence around the UK, local councils said that the government's response to this matter must be more urgent, with immediate action needed to get the ball rolling on more construction. 

Nearly every single council in the UK - some 96 per cent - said that the need for affordable homes in their local area is either severe or moderate, as they collectively called on the government to cut the red tape that they say is hampering development. 

Some 72 per cent of the councils surveyed for the report stated that they believe the National Planning Police Framework (NPPF) gets in the way of their efforts to bring more homes onto the market across the country. Viability tests included within the NPPF can, they agreed, hamper the development of much needed social and affordable homes. 

"With 96 per cent of councils describing their need for affordable homes as severe or moderate, and 89 per cent worried that the extension of Right to Buy will lead to less affordable homes, it is clear that there is a real crisis," said Kate Henderson, chief executive of the TCPA. 

"Councils are concerned that government policy is not enabling them to deliver genuinely affordable housing. We need to have a housing strategy that provides affordable homes to all people," she added.

One of the main problems, the report states, is that the affordable homes that the government talks about are not that affordable for many people, with large numbers still priced out of the market in these cases. 

The report concluded with a call for the government to rapidly put plans in place that will show how it aims to address the lack of affordable homes nationwide and how it will ramp up development in the future.