Shelter Report Recommends Building 3m New Social Homes

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.

Shelter Report Recommends Building 3m New Social Homes

Shelter Report Recommends Building 3m New Social Homes

There has been much in the British media about the housing crisis in the UK and now one charity has set out a roadmap that it claims will help alleviate issues such as homelessness, while ensuring those waiting for social housing are given homes.

Shelter brought together 16 independent commissioners to work on the report, as well a speaking to 31,000 people as part of its Big Conversation, and taking evidence from 20 organisations.

The charity also organised 13 social housing debates around the country to gather views from the public on the housing crisis and the situation within social housing in the UK.

All of this has resulted in its A Vision for Social Housing report, which it hopes will encourage the government to take the steps necessary to improve the housing situation for thousands of people around the country.

Among the recommendations is to construct 3.1 million new social homes over the next 20 years. The charity pointed out that last year the UK constructed just 6,463 new social homes. To hit that figure would be a significant increase.

The commission notes that the benefits of providing this level of new social housing far outweigh the costs of not doing so. It estimates that the programme of construction will cost £10.7 billion a year on average. However, it points out that this falls to £3.8 billion a year when the savings in benefits and increased taxes are taken into account.

At present, the government spends £21 billion a year on housing benefit alone. According to the report, building this level of social housing would see a return on investment within 39 years.

The report also stated that this is the only way to hit the government’s target of delivering 300,000 new homes a year. It said: “It will command huge public support. It will, more than any other change, properly address the housing crisis and give people hope for the future.”

Among the statistics highlighted by the research is the fact that 1.27 million new homes are required for those in the greatest housing need, while a further 1.17 million need to be constructed for younger families who are “trapped” in unsuitable accommodation in the private rental sector.

In addition, a further 690,000 properties are needed for older renters, who are struggling in unaffordable rented homes after retiring.

If the government takes on board even some of the suggestions in this report, it will require a huge number of construction workers and scaffolders in Hull and elsewhere in the UK to deliver building work on this scale.

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband was one of the 16 commissioners who put this report together. Speaking to the Independent he stated: “This is a moment for political boldness on social housing investment that we have not seen for a generation.”

Mr Miliband added: “It is the way to restore hope, build strong communities and fix the broken housing market so that we meet both the needs and aspirations of millions of people.”