Housing

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 5th July 2018.

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Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Labour/Co-operative, Leeds North West

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government has taken to implement the recommendations of the 2013 Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context.

Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

In our 2014 response to the 2013 Report, we were clear that we were disappointed that the UN Special Rapporteur had failed to correct a number of inaccuracies, which reflected on the relevance of her recommendations.

We have since set out an ambitious package of long-term reform to fix the dysfunctional housing market, which includes raising the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap by a total of £1 billion in areas of high affordability pressure for local authorities who are ready to start building new homes, and increasing the Affordable Homes Programme budget to over £9 billion to deliver a wide range of affordable housing, including social rent homes. Our recent announcements, together with our Housing White Paper, put us on track to create, fund and drive a housing market which delivers 300,000 homes a year on average by the mid-2020s.

To protect the most vulnerable claimants impacted by welfare reforms affecting Housing Benefit and the housing element of Universal Credit, we are providing an enhanced Discretionary Housing Payment fund (from 2011 around £1 billion to date) for local authorities. The funding enables local authorities to provide help to those in most need, allow extra time for those affected to find suitable alternative accommodation, or provide longer-term support for vulnerable households.

Furthermore, to consider issues relating to social housing, including wider issues of place and community, we are publishing a Social Housing Green Paper before the summer recess – a broad review which has been informed by direct engagement with nearly 1,000 social housing residents.

We are also taking action to protect tenants in the private rented sector, and on 2 July we published a consultation on Overcoming the Barriers to Longer Tenancies in the Private Rented Sector where we propose a new three year tenancy model with a six month break clause.

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