Social Housing

Housing, Communities and Local Government – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th June 2018.

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Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston Conservative, Mid Worcestershire 12:00 am, 18th June 2018

What steps his Department is taking to support the building of new social housing.

Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

We have delivered 357,000 affordable homes since 2010, which is more than in the last seven years of the previous Labour Government, and we will be spending £9 billion on affordable housing, including social housing, until 2022.

Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston Conservative, Mid Worcestershire

Will the Minister join me in thanking housing associations across the country for all the great work they do on social housing, and in particular Rooftop Housing in my constituency, which has built 850 homes in the last six years, including substantial housing for elderly people and those with supportive care needs?

Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Housing associations played a key role in delivering more than 41,000 homes through the affordable homes programme last year. I certainly welcome the contribution of housing associations in my hon. Friend’s constituency. We are restless to do more, through measures such as long-term rent certainty and raising the housing revenue account borrowing cap.

Photo of Emma Reynolds Emma Reynolds Labour, Wolverhampton North East

Does the Minister recognise that for many people on low incomes, paying 80% of market rent is not affordable—it is simply unaffordable? When will the Government ditch this twisted notion of affordability and build more homes for social rent?

Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

We are lifting the HRA borrowing cap. We are giving local authorities and housing associations longer-term certainty with their rents, and we also look forward to the publication of the social housing Green Paper, to address all these issues in the round.

Photo of Jack Lopresti Jack Lopresti Conservative, Filton and Bradley Stoke

What steps are the Government taking to speed up the local planning process and make it more about delivering affordable housing and new homes than about narrow local or petty partisan politics?

Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your kind words.

Through the changes that we are making to the national planning policy framework, we want to streamline the process to get homes built and, particularly through our emphasis on the housing delivery test, to make sure that homes are built for the next generation.

Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Labour, Cambridge

There is growing interest on the Opposition side of the House in funding social housing through land value uplift. Does the Minister have any plans to introduce a land value cap within the lifetime of this Parliament?

Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

I certainly welcome the hon. Gentleman’s thoughts, and we have heard such ideas on our side of the House as well. I would be very happy to see any proposals he has, and we would certainly take them very seriously.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow Conservative, Taunton Deane

To enable developers to build the right proportion of affordable housing, it is essential that they have the money for infrastructure. In that respect, I welcome the £7.6 million we have received for the spine road in Staplegrove. When will we know whether £18 million of funding will be announced following the joint bid by my council and Sedgemoor?

Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

I thank my hon. Friend. The housing infrastructure fund is absolutely vital because people rightly ask local authorities with the ambition to build new homes where the roads, schools and clinics will come from. We are taking forward a whole range of bids for co-development. The business proposals will be analysed by my Department, and we will make further announcements in the autumn.

Photo of Ellie Reeves Ellie Reeves Labour, Lewisham West and Penge

The Ministry’s own figures show that, at the end of 2014, the number of households in temporary accommodation in Bromley stood at 956, and by December 2017, the figure had risen to 1,501. There are simply not enough affordable homes in London, so when will the Government take real action to make sure that councils such as Bromley get building?

Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

We are raising the HRA cap to give local authorities more flexibility to enable them to deliver the homes. The hon. Lady may also want to have a word with the Mayor of London, because we want the ambition from central Government taken right the way through. She is right to mention local councils, but we must also make sure that city hall is doing its bit.