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Social Rented Housing: Coronavirus

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN 147083, tabled on 1 February 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of changes in the level of demand for social housing in (a) the UK, (b) the North West and (c) Stockport since the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps he is taking to provide support to local authorities and housing associations during that outbreak.

Answered on

4 February 2021

The number of households in local authorities' waiting lists by local authority and region since 1997 is published in live table 600 which is published here

The latest available figures refer to 31 March 2020

It should be noted that the number of households on the waiting list is not the same as the number of households waiting. Households may apply to multiple authorities and authorities only "clean" their lists periodically. Local authority waiting list size can be affected by other factors, including reviews by local authorities to remove households who no longer require housing. The frequency of reviews varies considerably and so the total number of households on waiting lists is likely to overstate the number of households who still require housing.

The Government is committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing and is investing over £12 billion in affordable housing over 5 years, the largest investment in affordable housing in a decade. This includes the new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme, which will provide up to 180,000 new homes across the country, should economic conditions allow.

The new Affordable Homes Programme will deliver more than double the social rent than the current programme, with around 32,000 social rent homes due to be delivered

At Budget 2020 we introduced a lower PWLB rate for borrowing for a local authority’s Housing Revenue Account to support the delivery of new council housing

The Government has also taken steps to ensure that home moves can continue to take place, including into and within social housing, and that landlords can take steps to carry out repairs and safety inspections, provided these are undertaken in line with public health advice and the relevant coronavirus (COVID-19) legislation. The government advice on home moving during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak includes advice for social landlords which makes clear that they will need to consider how to carry out their allocation and lettings activities in line with the current guidance on practical steps to reduce transmission of the virus, including for example how they conduct viewings and tenancy sign-ups. Guidance for landlords and tenants provides advice on how to carry out repairs and maintenance safely.

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