To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what financial support is available for local authorities to build new homes for social rent.
The Government is committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing and are investing over £12 billion in affordable housing over 5 years, the largest investment in affordable housing in a decade. This includes the new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme which will provide around 32,000 homes for social rent – more than double the homes for social rent in the previous Affordable Homes Programme. Local authorities are eligible for this Programme and we want to see them playing a key role in its delivery.
To further support local authority delivery, the Government has taken a number of steps to support them to deliver new homes. In March 2021 we announced a package of reforms to give councils more freedom in how they can spend the money from Right to Buy sales on replacement homes, including homes for social rent. In May 2021, Homes England launched its Local Government Capacity Centre to provide councils with practical support to build their development skills and capacity. This is on top of the removal of Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap in 2018, providing local authorities greater flexibility to borrow for house building.