Alternative ideas for funding the Right to Buy: some ways out for the government on the Housing Bill

There’s not much doubt about it, the government are having a bit of a nightmare when it comes to the Housing Bill, and specifically the forced sale of council homes.

A quick recap for the uninitiated: this is not the Right to Buy, but rather George Osborne’s way of funding Right to Buy discounts for Housing Association tenants. Councils in ‘high value’ areas will be required to auction off a certain number of their council homes to the highest bidder … Read more

The Housing and Planning Bill: a small response to a big challenge

The last Parliament saw housing become a truly national crisis. It was the moment when the shortage of homes of all kinds started to touch all corners of the country, and millions of people, on low and middle incomes.

The Housing and Planning Bill is the new majority Conservative government’s first response to this.

The Bill passed the House of Commons stage last night. This followed a lengthy committee stage and the usual Parliamentary ding-dong , including a bizarre episode … Read more

Homes for who? A blow for low income home ownership

The last Parliament saw housing rise rapidly up the political agenda. As a result, there is now a firm political consensus on the need to address the shortage of homes in England. This includes a genuine desire across government to get more homes built, which is very welcome.

The next big question, which will define housing in this Parliament, is homes for who? Who are we building for?

On this question, the government has made a much less auspicious start. … Read more

Three political problems George Osborne is storing up with the forced sale of council homes

This morning we published new research on the impact of the government’s proposal to force councils to sell their more valuable social homes.  Many of the government’s housing reforms are welcome – but on the affordable housing side of things, some are fairly worrying. This is certainly one of those.

The numbers are pretty grim. 113,000 affordable homes could be lost in exactly the areas of the country they’re most needed.

Recent history, and the financing of the scheme, … Read more

George Osborne’s housebuilding plans: who will they help?

One of the reasons that housing was such a big issue in the election is that it’s no longer something that affects just a small portion of the population. All kinds of people, on middle and low incomes, are now feeling the effects even though they are working hard and might expect to be rewarded

But who are these people?

Below we have outlined a few different groups. Whatever their situation they all share the desire for a stable, affordable … Read more

Affordable housing: business voices join the call the protect the Affordable Homes Programme

Last Friday Shelter launched its campaign calling on the government to take steps to protect and boost the supply of affordable homes in the upcoming Budget and Spending Review. Since then, nearly 6,000 people have written a letter to the Chancellor asking for action.

And today, leading business voices from across the UK have written to the Daily Telegraph to echo our call.

They all share a concern at the desperate shortage of affordable homes that have built up over … Read more

How seriously does the Government take housing? The fate of the Affordable Homes Programme is the first test

Three months ago, in the run up to the general election, David Cameron announced housing as one of the Conservatives six campaign priorities. It followed years of rising anxiety among voters about the issue. In that speech the Prime Minister promised voters he would “build more homes that people can afford”. A month later, as you can see below, he stood on the steps of Downing Street, pledging that the next five years would in part be about “the homes … Read more

Guest blog: Build, build, build (but don’t forget quality)

Ben Marshall gives us the public’s perspective on the importance of design.

Ben Marshall is a Research Director at Ipsos MORI – @BenM_IM

Build, build, build (but don’t forget quality)

During the general election one of most striking Ipsos MORI poll findings was 69% of Britons agreeing that “unless we build many more new, affordable homes we will never be able to tackle the country’s housing problems.”

The backdrop to this is one of most remarkable shifts in public opinion … Read more

An open letter to the Housing Minister

Yesterday Brandon Lewis was re-appointed Housing and Planning Minister, with Greg Clark announced as the new Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Below is an open letter to the Minister from our Chief Executive, Campbell Robb, congratulating him on his re-appointment and setting out the action we’d like to see to solve the housing shortage, following the significant attention it received in the election campaign.

Dear Minister,

Congratulations from everyone at Shelter on your re-appointment.

There’s hardly … Read more

Fixing the housing shortage: what do the manifestos say?

One of the great things about this election is, for the first time in a generation, politicians are competing for votes on housing. Unfortunately there is a downside: lots of big claims and big numbers flying around as parties trade claims and counter-claims. It can become bamboozling, even to those who work in the field.

So we thought we’d put together a one stop shop for you, to help you make sense of what the parties are promising on building … Read more

The ‘on your side’ question

With the main parties due to publish their manifestos next week, politicians of all stripes are in overdrive trying to catch the attention of voters across the country. But this raises an interesting question: what judgements help people decide how to vote?

Most pollsters will tell you that people don’t generally vote on detailed policy per se – but rather the overall ‘sense’, or values, that those policies help communicate; how a party ‘smells’. Of course details matter, but so … Read more

CBI guest blog: why the next government needs to prioritise housing

As the election campaign enters the home straight, a lot of organisations are turning their thoughts to the first 100 days of the next government; key moments like the first Queens Speech and Spending Review. What’s note worthy this time around is how high up housing is in the priorities of organisations outside the sector.

Last week, the CBI – Britain’s leading employers’ organisation – released their list of key issues they wish to see the next government prioritise in … Read more