Long-term Plan for Housing - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:42 pm on 11 January 2024.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Green 2:42, 11 January 2024

My Lords, I shall follow the theme of social housing. I declare my position as a vice-president of the LGA and the NALC. Responding to the noble Baroness, Lady Pinnock, the Minister said that the Government are committed to social housing. We have just heard that again, and it is great, but the Minister may be aware of a document from the National Housing Federation, Let’s Fix the Housing Crisis: Delivering a Long-Term Plan for Housing. This crosses over with her former departmental responsibilities. It asserts:

“The wider fiscal, societal and economic benefits of social housing are poorly captured in current cost benefit analysis”,

and, particularly, in the Government’s Green Book. The NHF stresses that we need housing

“in the right location, with the right support for those who need it”,

which sounds very much like the Green Party’s Right Homes, Right Place, Right Price. Does the Minister agree that planning needs to think about this social element as well as the purely spatial element? We have been relying on the market for decades now. It has not worked out very well and has given the crisis we have now, plus the terrible privatisation of right to buy. I will pick up a point from the noble Lord, Lord Crisp: one of the things that the NHF report highlights is the increase in the long-term cost of housing benefit as a result of the increase in the number of retired people who are in private rental housing now. Do we not have to join up far more planning and financial considerations and pure human considerations to secure an affordable place for everybody to live?