Shelter Social Housing Commission calls for 3m new homes over 20 years

by Property 118

9:16 AM, 8th January 2019
About A week ago

Shelter Social Housing Commission calls for 3m new homes over 20 years

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Shelter Social Housing Commission calls for 3m new homes over 20 years

In January last year Shelter launched a cross party commission into the future of social housing to address crucial issues highlighted by the Grenfell Tower fire. It is chaired by Reverend Mike Long of the Notting Hill Methodist Church near Grenfell,  and its panel includes Baroness Doreen Lawrence, Ed Miliband MP, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Lord Jim O’Neill and Grenfell tower survivor Edward Daffarn.

Unsurprisingly the solution to the housing crisis is to build more homes – 3.1 million new social homes over the next 20 years costed at £225bn.

The report produced by the commission concludes:

1.27 million homes are needed for those in the greatest need, including homeless people, people with a disability or long-term illness, or those living in very poor conditions.

1.17 million homes are needed for so called “trapped renters” including half of all young people who will never be able to afford to buy their own home.

690,000 extra homes are needed for older private renters who struggle to afford household costs after retirement.

Ed Miliband MP said: “The time for the government to act is now. We have never felt so divided as a nation, but building social homes is a priority for people right across our country. It is the way we can restore hope, build strong communities and fix the broken housing market so that we can meet the needs and aspirations of millions of people.”

Housing Minister James Brokenshire responded saying: “Providing quality and fair social housing is a priority for this government. We’ve asked tenants across the country for their views and the thousands of responses we’ve received will help us design the future of social housing.

“Our ambitious £9bn affordable homes programme will deliver 250,000 homes by 2022, including homes for social rent. A further £2bn of long term funding has already been committed beyond that as part of a ten year home building programme through to 2028.

“We’re also giving councils extra freedom to build the social homes their communities need and expect.” This is referring to the lifting of government restrictions on Local Authorities being able to borrow to build more homes.

The commission is also calling for:

  • A powerful new Ofsted-style regulator to inspect homes
  • Greater influence for tenants over what happens in their buildings
  • The replacement of any sold-off social housing
  • A commitment to mix social housing with private homes of indistinguishable design and without separate “poor door” entrances.

Click here to read the full report

The report obviously cannot help but insinuate that the Private Rental Sector is part of the problem saying:

“Unless we act now, we face a future in which a generation of young families will be trapped renting privately for their whole lives, where more and more people will grow old in private rentals, where billions more in welfare costs will be paid to private landlords – and hundreds of thousands more people will be forced into homelessness.”



Comments

Old Mrs Landlord

9:51 AM, 8th January 2019
About A week ago

Ploughing through this but it's so far, so predictable - social housing good, private renting bad as the default starting point. So much is anecdotal and so much glossed over to make their points. I was not surprised to learn that their answer is more social housing (despite the fact that UK has the third highest percentage of that tenure in Europe) coupled with yet more restrictions and burdens on private landlords. I was, however, surprised to be told that one in seven rental homes has serious flaws or hazards and that complaints by tenants usually result in eviction notices within six months. I find that very hard to believe in view of the legislation in recent years. I've still a long way to go with this report so there is time for my initial reactions to change of course - no harm in hoping.

Old Mrs Landlord

11:49 AM, 8th January 2019
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 08/01/2019 - 09:51Correction to my previous post: it states almost half (46%) of complaints to private landlords about property result in eviction within six months, so my use of the word "usually" was not justified. Still seems a really surprising statistic to me as getting rid of a tenant who complains about property condition means a new tenant who will have the same issues if the matter is not dealt with. I suspect one of the main issues in such cases relates to damp and mould which the landlord considers is caused by that tenant's lifestyle and will only be resolved by getting a tenant who will heat and ventilate the property adequately.

Old Mrs Landlord

14:12 PM, 8th January 2019
About A week ago

Well, as the focus of the report is on provision of social housing, not surprisingly the recommendations are for more to be constructed especially in mixed developments of other tenures and using modern non-standard but proven and tested construction methods. These new homes would be mainly for older and disabled people struggling to find and/or afford suitable homes in the PRS and also for younger "trapped renters" whose incomes will never enable them to afford to buy their own homes. Of course, the usual recommendations for the PRS are trotted out, viz. removal of S.21 and compulsory (for landlords) longer tenancies. A single overseeing body to inspect and enforce conditions in both social and private rental properties is recommended and PRS landlords with more than 25 rental properties should be registered with this consumer regulator. The final two pages of the PRS chapter, pp 167-8 are unfortunately missing from the PDF so this section ends mid-sentence. I expect press releases to lead on the summary at the start of the report and the media to quote widely the finding that "one in seven private rented homes pose an immediate threat to health and safety" and "renting can be very unsafe, most private renters face problems with their homes, including electrical hazards, damp and pest infestation." If this is indeed true, then I wonder how "most" private landlords are getting away with it.

Steve Masters

16:19 PM, 8th January 2019
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 08/01/2019 - 11:49I haven't had time to read the report, too busy dealing with all the red tape surrounding being a Landlord, but I agree with Old Ms Landlord, those evictions are more likely to be as a result of a breakdown between T & LL, T failure to understand their own responsibilities, failure to ventilate etc etc, even withholding rent. I bet the report doesn't substantiate it's claim or provide detailed reasons for such evictions. It is plain wrong to assume they are all retaliation evictions.
But I do agree with the very basic tenet of the report. There is ONLY one real long term solution to the housing problem: "BUILD MORE HOUSING".
And I don't advocate this because I will directly profit from more houses, on the contrary, it will keep house prices and rents lower which will hit my profits. I agree with building more houses because it is the right thing to do, for every tenant, for every young person and for the country as a whole.
But I do say leave landlords alone to get on with with providing rental accomodation where it is needed and at affordable rents. It will allow market forces to regulate the sector. Bad landlords will be out performed by the good landlords and driven out by tenants and buyers with the power of greater choice.
I am constantly renting to tenants who would love to buy, just not right now. They need the ease and flexibility of living where and when they want and the ability to easily move as their circumstances change. Good rental housing will always be needed, which requires good landlords.

Annie Landlord

16:40 PM, 8th January 2019
About A week ago

.. most private renters face problems with their homes that can include electrical hazards, damp, and pest infestation.
What utter, utter, utter tripe! 84% of private renters are entirely satisfied, around the same figure for social renters. I am working my way through the report, but if it makes proclamations such as this, with no evidence, what's the point?

Rennie

17:40 PM, 8th January 2019
About A week ago

This is attributed to housing minister James Brokenshire in this article:-
“Our ambitious £9bn affordable homes programme will deliver 250,000 homes by 2022, INCLUDING HOMES FOR SOCIAL RENT. A further £2bn of long term funding has already been committed beyond that as part of a ten year home building programme through to 2028."

So! In addition to not being a sufficient number of homes, it doesn't tell us HOW MANY SOCIAL RENT HOMES are going to be built. It also doesn't tell us how many more are going to be built and the proportion of those which will be at social rent going on to 2028.
Another thing it doesn't tell us is whether the "affordable homes" that are going to be built for people to buy can actually be afforded by them because I have seen articles about "affordable homes" not being affordable to most of the target audience.

Now I could say I don't care - but I do. The other aspect is that I am a landlady and I am sick of this government (and everybody else in the mix) trying to make things right by causing me a lot of pain and grief.

The government could actually achieve quite a lot by educating tenants about damp, cold, condensation, ventilation, buildings breathing and all that sort of stuff and then maybe not so many tenants would move out "because it is damp"

They could also actually get a joined up plan on a nice slow timescale that landlords and other people (councils) can actually achieve, with a provision for feedback so they can give it a nice tweak when needed and AND MAKE THE WHOLE DAMN THING WORK!

As it is - I give up!

Old Mrs Landlord

22:38 PM, 8th January 2019
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Annie Landlord at 08/01/2019 - 16:40
I understand exactly how you feel, Annie. After twelve years as a landlord virtually none of the private rental sector propaganda put out by Shelter reflects my experience. I just don't recognise the PRS as they depict it and the 84% tenant satisfaction figure found by the government's own English Housing Survey came to my mind too. Many more landlords, I'm sure, echo the sentiments you and Rennie express here - "What's the point?" and "I give up!".
It's also a sad reflection on modern Britain that nearly all the case studies in Shelter's report are broken or single-parent families. Inevitably such circumstances cause financial strain and children suffer.

Annie Landlord

10:50 AM, 9th January 2019
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 08/01/2019 - 22:38
There is a major problem with so much anecdotal 'evidence' being completely unverified but presented as 'fact'. Given that Shelter simply doesn't talk to landlords, at least not with any veneer of respect, the reasons given by tenants for their tenancy ending are accepted as true. If there is a problem with S21 its that no reason has to be given, so Shelter et al joyfully term them all 'no fault' evictions, even though they know full well that landlords frequently use S21 when a S8 will be pointless and protracted. Those cases will be predominantly tenants in receipt of benefits, a large percentage of whom are single mums


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