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Housing: State of the Nation

Briefing Paper

The Public Accounts Committee published its report ‘Housing: State of the Nation’ on 28th April 2017.

The Public Accounts Committee found that the results of the long-running shortfall in housing supply are that, in many areas of the country, housing has become increasingly difficult to afford. First-time buyers now on average need to borrow over three times their income, for example, and private tenants in London have seen rents go up twice as fast as earnings in a decade. Homelessness has risen since 2009/10, with more than 70,000 families in temporary accommodation at the end of March 2016.

The Public Accounts Committee noted that of the £20.9billion spent on housing benefit in 2015/16, £8.4billion went to housing associations that use rental income such as this to borrow to invest in new homes. However, neither the Department for Communities & Local Government nor the Department for Work & Pensions can quantify the impact of this funding on the construction of new homes.

A further £8billion of housing benefit went to private tenants. This subsidises landlords in the private rented sector but did not contribute to the financing of new social housing.

The purpose of this briefing paper is to summarise the report and to provide a commentary. It includes sections on:

  • Introduction
  • The Housing Gap in England
  • Getting more out of spending on Housing Benefit
  • Planning
  • Right to Buy and Sale of High Value Council Homes
  • Conclusions and Recommendations of the Committee
  • Conclusions

Your copy can be freely downloaded from HERE

Housing Association Regeneration scheme at Stockwell Park in Lambeth.

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