Conservative council leaders are pressuring Theresa May to invest more in low-cost rented homes, as the concerns that not enough is being done to fix Britain’s housing crisis are growing. The prime minister promised last year £2 billion for a new generation of council houses and affordable homes for rent; however, that might not be enough.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation surveyed 121 Tory council leaders and heads of housing from across the UK and found that 96% of them wanted low-cost rented homes to form part of the solution. Moreover, another report has found that parents are likely to be lending less money to help their children on to the property ladder this year, owing to constrained household budgets since the EU referendum.
Although parents are still expected to help finance as many as one in four property sales, the amount of financial support is expected to fall from £6.5 billion last year to £5.7 billion in 2018. The predicted fall is the first since the research began in 2016. According to the study, the average contribution from parents towards housing is expected to decline from £21,600 in 2017 to £18,000 this year.
“Homelessness and poverty should have no place in our society. However, right now millions of people are locked out of being able to achieve a decent standard of living due to crippling rents,” said Campbell Robb, the chief executive of Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
The help-to-buy scheme has been supporting first time buyers; however, experts say that a better solution would be to build more affordable homes across the country. The Tories have promised to deliver an average of 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s, up from 217,000 in 2016.
Gary Porter, the chair of the Local Government Association and the Conservative leader of South Holland district council in Lincolnshire, urged the government to lift a cap on the amount of money councils can borrow to fund housebuilding: “Doing so would spark a renaissance in housebuilding, allowing us in local government to do our bit to help address the housing crisis.”