Moved by Lord Best
193A: Schedule 7, page 347, line 17, at end insert—“(3A) The local plan must identify the local nature and scale of housing need in the local planning authority’s area and must make provision for sufficient social rent housing, to eliminate homelessness within a reasonable period as stipulated in the updated local plan, and to provide housing for persons registered on the local housing authority’s allocation scheme within the meaning of section 166A of the Housing Act 1996.(3B) Subsection (3A) applies in relation to social housing provided both by the local housing authority where it retains its own housing stock and by private registered providers of social housing.(3C) The information concerning the level of housing need recorded on the local plan must be updated at least annually.”
My Lords, I am very grateful to noble Lords for their support for this amendment. I am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Thornhill, and the noble Lord, Lord Stunell, for their support, and for pointing out the urgency of the need for homelessness and those on waiting lists to be addressed, and the value of using the local plan to help in that process. I am also grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Taylor of Stevenage, for her eloquent support. She made the point that, unfortunately, things are getting worse for those in the most acute need. I am afraid to say that the urgency for doing more grows daily, and this would be a helpful step in the right direction.
The Minister, who I know believes that local plans are a very important instrument in getting things changed and done, said that she very much agreed that this deserved priority. Indeed, the government consultation currently going on may lead to greater prominence being given to the needs of those who are homeless, in temporary accommodation or on a never-ending waiting list. She hopes that local planning authorities will do their best by that and include those things in local plans, but there is no obligation on them so to do. It is that obligation that this amendment would put into place. I am grateful for the support of all those colleagues, and the moment has come for me to test the opinion of the House.
Ayes 173, Noes 156.