England & Wales

Council housing progress

Following much lobbying, including by the LGiU, expect to see an announcement in the budget tomorrow of a new fund to support council house building. It will be one part of a package of around £1bn to stimulate the housing market, which will also include extending the stamp duty holiday and the mortgage rescue scheme, along with money set aside to restart stalled housing projects. Some will say the amount for council house building, which will only work if reforms to housing finance go ahead, is too limited. After 30 years of decline in the role of local authorities in house building, my cup is half full. I don’t see this as an ideological issue anymore, councillors from all parties recognise the urgent need to increase the supply of social housing. The findings of our project with Westminster City Council looking at housing overcrowding will be published soon.