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CPRE reaction to social housing ‘boost’

26 June 2018

The government’s announcement of more money for social housing will ‘barely scratch the surface’ and is unlikely to impact on the crisis in housing affordability in rural areas, CPRE said today (26 June).

The comment is in response to Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire’s announcement that the government will be investing £1.67 billion to support a ‘new generation of council housing’.

There are currently more than 170,000 families on council waiting lists in rural areas, but CPRE said there was no sign that those families would see much of the new money. Last year, only 990 social rented homes were completed in rural areas. At the current rate of building it would take 180 years just to meet the backlog in the countryside alone.

Lois Lane, Research and Policy Advisor at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said:

‘While we welcome any investment to help ease pressures, rural communities are in danger of being left even further behind. For those struggling to find a home that they can afford to live in, this new fund is simply not enough. The scale of the challenge is enormous and this investment will provide only 23,000 new ‘affordable’ homes, of which just 12,500 will be for social rent.

‘With more than one million families on social housing waiting lists in England, this barely scratches the surface of the problem. We urgently need new social housebuilding programme that will deliver on a significant scale, with properly proportioned grant funding for rural areas.’

 CPRE are calling for:

  • further substantial investment in social housebuilding from the government;
  • a proportion of grant funding for use in rural areas to be ring-fenced in line with the proportion of the population living there;
  • a commitment to for social housing to be prioritised over market housing.

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