We've joined with Shelter, Friends of the Earth and others to say: make new homes affordable

29th October 2020

We’ve partnered with other major charities to tell the government directly: build new homes for social rent.

As the government continues to face opposition to their proposals to deregulate the planning system, we’ve joined with leaders from Greenpeace, the Wildlife Trusts and the Campaign for National Parks, and more, to insist that new plans include creating social housing.

We’re telling the government that the planning proposals in their current form ‘simply cannot deliver the affordable homes that communities are crying out for’.

'...we fear the government’s planning proposals simply cannot deliver the affordable homes communities are crying out for.'
Our open letter to the government

A coalition calls for better

Our coalition of six major environmental charities is expressing dismay that the existing changes that the government have put forward would see it possible for developers to build up to 50 homes without being required to make any contribution to affordable housing.

This is especially alarming given the desperate need for truly affordable homes in our country, not least in rural areas, where homelessness is rising – and is all too often overlooked.

We want to see plans that, instead of loosening rules and risking giving developers free rein, will empower local voices and aid rural communities in getting the homes that they so badly need – including our invaluable key workers.

We won’t back down

Inspired by our decisive action and ready to stand with us? You can be a part of our movement resisting the proposed changes as they currently stand and advocating for a fairer, greener, better way to create new homes – and restore the economy at the same time.

Keep informed by signing up for our campaign update emails and add your voice now by signing our petition for the government to drop their current proposals.

Stand with us and Shelter, the Wildlife Trusts, Greenpeace, the Campaign for National Parks and Friends of the Earth to say that we won’t settle for these plans and insist that social housing is considered. Be a part of it!

The full text of our letter to Robert Jenrick, housing secretary

Dear Sir,

As a coalition of organisations, we share an ambition for a planning system that is empowered to deliver high quality and genuinely affordable homes, including homes for social rent.

However, we fear the government’s planning proposals simply cannot deliver the affordable homes communities are crying out for. In fact, some of the proposals being fast-tracked by the government to come into force in the near future will move us further from this vision rather than closer to it.

Right now, the government is proposing to make it possible for developers to build up to 50 homes without making any contribution to affordable housing. This cannot be right at a time when social housebuilding has plummeted to its lowest levels for 40 years and when more than one million households languish on social housing waiting lists.

'This cannot be right at a time when social housebuilding has plummeted to its lowest levels for 40 years.'

If the government is serious about building back better, we urge ministers to scrap lifting this ‘small sites cap’ and invest in delivering genuinely affordable quality homes, including homes for social rent, to help people, and the economy.

Yours faithfully,

Crispin Truman OBE
Chief Executive
CPRE The countryside charity

Polly Neate
Chief Executive
Shelter

Joan Edwards
Director of Public Affairs and Marine Conservation
Wildlife Trusts TBC

Rebecca Newsom
Head of Political Affairs
Greenpeace UK

Anita Conrad
Chief Executive
Campaign for National Parks

Miriam Turner and Hugh Knowles
Interim CEOs
Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland

A man with white hair wearing hard hat and high vis jacket on scaffolding
Clem Onojeghuo / Unsplash