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Social Rented Housing: Construction

Question for Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

UIN 14606, tabled on 8 June 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make it his policy to (a) give councils the power to build 100,000 high-quality, climate-friendly social homes a year and (b) reform the Right to Buy scheme to make it easier for councils to build replacement homes at the rate at which they are sold.

Answered on

16 June 2022

Building more high-quality, climate-friendly social and affordable homes is an absolute priority for this Government.

To enable local authorities to deliver this social housing, including through their own housebuilding programmes, we have given local authorities a comprehensive range of tools. This includes our £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme (AHP) which councils can bid for, the abolition of the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) borrowing cap in 2018, as well as continued access to low-cost borrowing via the Public Works Loan Board. The AHP will provide up to 180,000 new homes across the country, should economic conditions allow.

From 2025, the Future Homes Standard will ensure that all new homes, regardless of tenure, produce at least 75% less CO2 emissions than those built to the 2013 standards. Ahead of the Future Homes Standard, we have introduced an uplift in energy efficiency standards, which will come into force in June 2022, this means all new homes will deliver around 30% fewer CO2 emissions than those built to the 2013 standards.

The Right to Buy scheme is also an important contributor to new housing supply with additional properties sold under the scheme being replaced with new affordable homes. In March 2021 we announced a package of reforms that will give councils more freedom on how they spend the money they receive from Right to Buy sales to help them build even more council homes, including homes for social rent. These reforms give local authorities greater flexibility to invest in new homes and the next generation of council housing.