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May 2017

98% of Councils describe affordable housing need as severe or moderate

A new study written by the Town & Country Planning Association (TCPA) has found that UK councils are increasingly unable to meet their demand for affordable housing. The report, which considered the experiences of 166 local authorities in Britain, found that 98% of councils were now describing their need as either severe or moderate. Councils cited the lack of new homes being built, and lack of true affordability of those homes, among the reasons for the increasing need. Building Homes, Creating Communities also considered that the “continued deregulation and reform of the planning system” has reduced the ability of councils to secure genuinely affordable housing.

Responding to the study’s findings, the TCPA’s chief executive Kate Henderson said that the next government must make tackling the housing crisis a priority, stating “an ambition to increase housing numbers is not enough; we need to ensure that the homes that are built are affordable and well designed”.

Among the recommendations made to resolve the crisis, the report suggests that the new government must ensure that the recommendations of the Housing White Paper are brought forward, including the need to standardise the assessment for housing requirements, to introduce an assessment of need for older persons’ housing, and to clarify whether the developer-contribution model of funding affordable housing via planning obligations, remains a policy objective, and if not where the replacement could come from.