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Solace blog

9th December 2015

Solving the housing “crisis”…

It is a priority for Solace to ensure that communities are shaped to meet the local needs, and to deliver local solutions, for their residents. Central Government itself acknowledge that solving the housing “crisis” is a top priority, and announced, in the Spending Review, plans to give billions to private sector developers to build 400,000 new homes in England by the end of the decade – half of these will be starter homes, whilst 135,000 will be shared ownership.

It is the role of Local Government to support thriving communities, working with Central Government and other partners, to deliver local housing investment, creating great places to live across the UK, whilst helping to establish a sustainable affordable housing sector.

Housing supply, choice, and quality underpins economic prosperity and is fundamental to creating resilient, confident and sustainable places. Developing locally appropriate and locally integrated solutions is vital when addressing the housing challenge.

Local Authorities are perfectly placed to meet that challenge.

This paper explores the housing challenges we face as a nation, together with the potential implications of the Government’s proposed national policy changes. The paper explores how, by working in partnership with Central Government, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Local Government Association (LGA) and other organisations, we can help shape solutions.

The Treasury has announced its “biggest affordable house-building programme since the 1970s”, under which it plans to hand £2.3bn directly to developers to build “starter homes” for first-time buyers, in a fresh attempt to reverse the long-term decline in house building. Central Government will also pump £4bn into shared ownership schemes to provide more properties for households earning less than £80,000 (or £90,000 in London) who want to get on the housing ladder.

Solace wants to work in partnership with Central Government, along with our partners in the Local Government Association, Housing Associations, the National Housing Federation, and the Town and Country Planning Association, to address the national housing challenge and to make a real difference. Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Officers are ready for the challenges ahead. This policy document is testimony to that.

By Martin Swales, Spokesperson for Economic Prosperity & Housing and Chief Executive, South Tyneside Council