In its letter, the BSA urged the Chancellor in advance of the last Budget of the current Parliament to use money saved from the sale of the NS&I 65+ pensioner bonds to off-set the initial investment for housing projects.
The sale of the bonds is estimated to reach £15bn or more by the current close date of 15 May. The BSA explained that the money could be used as seed funding for affordable housing developments on the Community Land Trust to make a “significant difference”.
It requested further support from the government to increase the scope of housing providers within the sector. The BSA named specific support for SME buildings, custom and self-build, co-operative housing models and shared-ownership as more mainstream options for house buyers.
“The UK’s volume house-builders alone cannot alleviate the acute shortage of housing in the UK,” it wrote.
The BSA is due to launch its housing manifesto on 16 March in the House of Lords. Its proposals will include the creation of a new housing ministry with a secretary of state in Cabinet, replacing the current system where housing responsibility sits with a number of government departments.
Proposals also include a cross-party 15-year plan for the UK’s housing market based on national and regional long-term demographic changes, employment, environmental concerns and infrastructure.
Robin Fieth, chief executive of the BSA, said: “Using the money raised from the pensioner bonds to make affordable housing available to young people seems a neat way for a scheme that benefits those 65 and over, to also help younger people who face such a chronic shortage of affordable housing.”