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Councils Voice Concerns Over Affordable Housing

March 2, 2016

A survey by the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) has revealed that 80% of local authorities think that so called starter homes should not be classified as affordable housing. The research was conducted on behalf of the Association for Public Sector Excellence and comes as the House of Lords is set to scrutinise the key measures in the Housing and Planning Bill this week.

A total of 105 councils responded to the survey, with almost three fifths describing their need for affordable housing as severe. Authorities also raised concerns about the impact of the government’s intention to raise social rents by 1% a year for the next four years, claiming the move would negatively impact the provision of new social and affordable housing.

Kate Henderson, chief executive of the TCPA said: “Low cost home-ownership, such as starter homes, may help some people get a first step on the housing ladder, but as the survey of council’s highlights this will not address the need for genuinely affordable homes. We need a housing strategy for the nation that provides decent homes for everyone in society, including those most in need in the current housing crisis. Our survey has revealed that four out of five councils do not think starter homes should be classified as affordable housing because they are simply not affordable for essential low-paid workers.”

Lobby group Generation Rent, recently warned that the current starter homes policy will help less than 5% of people currently renting.