You are here: Home - News -

Government commits £2bn to councils to build social housing – UPDATE

  • 04/10/2017
  • 0
Prime minister Theresa May has announced a £2bn fund to begin building social housing for the first time in decades at the Tory conference today, acknowledging the role the state needs to play to solve the housing crisis.

The move takes the government’s social housing budget to £9bn and councils will be encouraged to bid for the cash.

The Conservative manifesto in June laid out plans to provide low-cost capital for councils to build fixed-term social housing that would be sold privately after 10-15 years with an automatic right to buy for tenants.

Lewis Johnston, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) parliamentary affairs manager, said: “In 1968, councils accounted for 40% of all housebuilding and today’s plan is an acknowledgement that councils are an important part of the solution to the supply crisis, although it will be interesting to see how this announcement works with the recent expansion of right to buy.”

The RICS manifesto advocated giving councils the freedom to borrow against their asset base to build homes or support other providers, working alone or in a public-private initiative, but added it’s a vital step towards fulfilling the ambitions of the Housing White Paper to deliver 250,000 homes a year.

Johnston said that bold reform of the planning system is needed alongside the use of modern methods of construction.


Garden towns development

In a move the government says will speed up the development of 155,000 new homes in garden towns, it has produced £2.5m to add more ‘dedicated resource and expertise’ for local authorities.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid announced the move yesterday and is targeting nine locally-led developments, from Bicester to Taunton. Garden towns are developments of over 10,000 homes, or villages for numbers over 1,500, and the government is encouraging ambitious plans including 2,000 plots for self-build at the Graven Hill site in Bicester Garden Town.

The funding will support the development of nine new locally-led garden towns at Bicester, Didcot, Basingstoke, Otterpool Park in Kent, Aylesbury, Taunton, Harlow-Gilston, North Northamptonshire and North Essex.

Across England, government is supporting the locally-led development of 10 garden towns and cities, as well as 14 garden villages – with the combined potential to deliver 220,000 new homes across England.

Yesterday, health secretary Jeremy Hunt pledged to offer NHS employees first refusal on all affordable housing when any NHS land is sold.

He made the statement at the Tory party conference as he promised to increase the number of nurses by 25%.

There are 0 Comment(s)

You may also be interested in

Business Skills

In this section, we offer short ‘how to’ guides on harder to crack areas of business. From social media, to regulation or niche product areas, we cover it all.


Our journalists interview key industry entrepreneurs, strategists and commentators for day-to-day market insight and a strategic view of where the industry is heading. We offer lessons for success and explore the opportunities for your business

Success in Practice

Here, we share case studies fleshing out best practice to help you decide what could work for your business. Take a look at how others approached complex tasks like launching a new mortgage lender, advising on a new product area or deciding to specialise in another. Learn from others mistakes and triumphs.


Each week, we ask top mortgage and property commentators with a unique perspective to examine a key news headline, market move or regulatory or political issue.


Vote in our weekly poll here. It’s your chance to tell us what you think and be heard on the top news stories of the week. Review our archive to find out what your industry really thinks and all our coverage of the results.

Top Comments

Be part of the conversation on Mortgage Solutions. We want to hear from you. We have a tool called Disqus to tell us which stories get the most comments each week. Every Friday, the team picks the most thoughtful or opinionated contributions from our readers to enjoy again. Don’t forget to share your favourite stories from the site on social media to keep the conversation going.
  • RT @robjupp: Great day yesterday for donations to @MortSleepOut. With Gift Aid, we are now close to £17,000. It would be great to get to £2…

Read previous post:
The word 'Tax' assembled upon a calculator
‘Progressive’ stamp duty replacement introduced by Welsh government

The Welsh government has unveiled changes to the way it charges tax on property transactions, claiming that nine out of...