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PM: 'build council houses to meet demand'

Allister Hayman, Regen.net, 30 January 2009


The Prime Minister has called for a new generation of council-built homes to help revive the construction industry and meet the Government's housing targets.



Speaking at a conference hosted by think-tank New Local Government Network in London Gordon Brown said that town halls had a vital role to play in lifting the UK out of recession and a new council house building programme would be at the core of this strategy.


He said that Treasury rules that have stopped councils from building social housing would be relaxed to enable councils to borrow more money and keep more of the proceeds from rents.


He said: "In the past we have placed restrictions on local authorities delivering social housing. But today, let me be clear: if local authorities can convince us that they can deliver quickly, and cost effectively, more of the housing that Britain needs, then we will be prepared to give them our full backing and put aside anything that stands in their way."


Since the 1980s most social-rented homes have been built by housing associations as Treasury rules have meant councils have had to give back at least 75 percent of the income they receive in rent and sales to the Treasury.


Last month the Government said town halls could keep 100 percent of rent on all new social homes but Brown's comments signal an intention to relax the rules further. Government figures show that nearly 4.5 million people are waiting for social housing across across England.


Sarah Webb, the Chartered Institute of Housing chief's executive said she welcomed Brown's announcement but warned that there had been a loss of capacity and skills across councils to develop new homes.


She said: "The promised changes can provide a much needed boost to housing in these challenging times. [but councils] will need to work quickly to build on existing and forge new partnerships with housing associations, lenders and private housebuilders - time is of the essence"






It's only taken more than a decade to realise what has been blindingly obvious :!:


Does everyone think that WBC is up to the job of providing and managing its own Affordable Housing :?: The Council certainly has enough land available but I wonder whether there is the political appetite :?:

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I've been arguing for Council Housing on here for the past couple of years - and this Gov are finally "talking" about it - as no doubt all their "new" Labour notions have failed. :roll: So, yet another "I told you so"! :wink: Will the Council have the dynamism to impliment a Council Housing programme? :? Well, as the Tories, LibDems and some "tory" Labour members were eager to "sell off" ALL our Council Housing stock in the recent past - I doubt they have the political will, vision or imagination for anything that requires taking the "political" initiative" from their reliance on Officers of the Council. :roll::shock:

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And I guess by your comments Obs you are all in favour of chunks of green belt land being 'freed' up (ooh sorry what is the technical term they use :roll: ) by the Government and certain landowners for the supply of more affordable housing too then :roll:


I also nearly forgot that private developers can't actually build on green belt land can they but 'affordable' housing development is permitted which in turn rakes in extra government funding :roll:


Pitty that a lot of council houses were sold off years ago too eh :roll:


Time for bed !!!!

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Diving in again with assumptions Diz - tut tut! :roll: Fact: there is a need for social housing for a growing army of homeless folk who simply in a real world of financial management will never be able to afford to buy. :shock: Q: how do you achieve this requirement without overturning time served rational planning policies to prevent urban sprawl and protect our remaining countryside? :? 1) allow Councils to CPO ALL empty housing in the town, incl the abundance of new speculatively built properties. :shock: 2) Start to "build up" in Town Centre locations, thus increasing unit densities and re-populating T/Cs. - sorted! :wink:

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Got to agree with Obs in as much that a requirement for new housing doesn't automatically mean there is a need for release of Green Belt land...


...but then some Green Belt land isn't worth protecting anyway but try telling that to some people who see it as holier than Bethlehem.

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Perhaps I should have said chunks of 'Green Land' as obviously a lot is not designated or protected as true green 'belt' land anyway.


In reality they can build any where they like cos I wont see any of it from my windows anyway unless it floats :D


Obs and McB... if you both think that unrestricted Urban sprawl is an acceptable way forward and you have no problem with villages/towns/cities merging with each other becasue they have no longer have clear boundaries then who am I to comment.... anyway I may say something that comes back to haunt me :shock:


As for me diving in with assumptions..tut tut.... Obs you are right. Maybe I should stop reading things that I'm not meant to understand or indeed worry about :wink::lol:


I hope it snows tomorrow.. 8)

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