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MPs to scrutinise govt affordable housing plans

Cross-party MPs on the Housing Communities and Local Government Committee have launched an inquiry into the long-term delivery of social and affordable rented homes.

The government aims to build 300,000 new homes per year by mid-2020, but only an estimated 3 per cent of these are expected to be social housing, the committee says.

Housing charity Shelter argues that the government must build more than three million new social homes over the next 20 years in order to meet housing needs.

This would equate to 150,000 new social homes a year instead of the 9,000 currently planned.

The new select committee inquiry will look at whether funding levels are adequate, as well as whether there are sufficient incentives for key stakeholders, such as local authorities and housing associations, to deliver the government’s targets.

In addition, the committee will examine the best approach to take with house building across different areas of the UK.

HCLGC chair Clive Betts says: “Over the last decade the construction of new social and affordable rented homes has stagnated.

“The number of new homes built in this sector has slowed to a trickle of a few thousand a year, while at the same time demand becomes greater and greater.

“We have launched this new inquiry to understand how effective the government’s current housing strategy will be in meeting demand for social housing in the long term.

“We will examine how far current funding levels will promote new building projects, and what more can be done to encourage local authorities and housing associations to increase provision.

“Social housing has been left to drift for too long and we must ensure that there are coherent long-term strategies to remedy this.”

Industry stakeholders can contribute written evidence to inform the MPs’ work before July 12 via this form on the committee’s website.

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