Social Housing

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th December 2017.

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Photo of Christine Jardine Christine Jardine Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland) 12:00 am, 4th December 2017

What estimate he has made of the number of social homes that will be built in 2018.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma Minister of State (Communities and Local Government)

The Government are providing substantial support for the building of social homes. We recently announced an additional £2 billion of funding, which takes the figure for the affordable homes programme to more than £9 billion. We have provided rent certainty for social landlords, and we have announced that there will be a £1 billion lift in housing revenue account borrowing caps.

Photo of Christine Jardine Christine Jardine Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland)

The number of homes delivered for social rent has fallen by more than 85% since 2010. Just 5,380 are expected to have been completed in 2016-17, compared with nearly 40,000 in 2010-11. The Budget contains virtually no support for the building of new social housing, and only £6 billion of new money for housing altogether. Is that not a far cry from the £50 billion that was called for by the Secretary of State himself, and does it not mean that the number of houses will fall far short of the number that we need?

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma Minister of State (Communities and Local Government)

Since 2010, nearly 128,000 homes for social rent have been built in England, and 118,000 have been built for affordable rent. The hon. Lady talks about the money available for housing. I can confirm that, as my right hon. Friend the Chancellor said in his Budget statement, we are making at least £44 billion available over the next five years.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer Conservative, South East Cambridgeshire

I will try, Mr Speaker.

East Cambridgeshire has established five community land trusts. Does the Minister agree that such trusts are a valuable way of ensuring that local people can have affordable homes locally?

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma Minister of State (Communities and Local Government)

My hon. and learned Friend makes a very important point. I commend her for the work that she is doing in encouraging the development of community land trusts, for which I announced additional funds only last week.