Posts with tag: Affordable housing

Local Government Association publishes housing waiting list research

Published On: October 14, 2021 at 8:27 am


Categories: Tenant News

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The Local Government Association has published new research that shows one in ten households in need of housing are stuck on council waiting lists for over five years. This is due to a chronic shortage of affordable homes.

The research also shows that waiting lists could almost double next year to as many as 2.1 million households due to the winding down of COVID-related support schemes and a potential increase in homelessness. 

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, has responded to the findings in this report: “This research should be a wakeup call for the Government to face the reality that people experiencing homelessness and those at risk are paying the price for our continued failure to build the number of social homes we need.

“Behind these escalating figures are people forced to travel miles to take their children to school because they’ve had to be relocated away from their support networks, others trying to hold down a job while they move from one sofa to the next, then there are those living with the constant worry of how they will afford their rent and heat their homes when each day brings further financial pressure.
“Enough is enough. If we really want to rebuild a society and economy that works for everyone then building safe and genuinely affordable homes must be at the heart of this. Only this bold action will see us finally end homelessness for good.”

You can read the full report from the Local Government Association here:

Lack of Affordable Housing Leading to Increased Homelessness

Published On: March 12, 2020 at 11:55 am


Categories: Tenant News


Councils are unable to house homeless people in their areas due to a lack of affordable housing, leaving a third of those who contacted their local authority remaining, or becoming homeless.

In a report by homeless charity, Crisis, based on 984 surveys and 89 interviews, it was revealed that since the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) many more people are now getting access to the help they need, but councils are still unable to help a large proportion of affected people.

Due to low housing supply and rents rising above wages and benefits, councils are struggling to afford to house the people that are supposed to be their responsibility.

Many respondents stated that the only support they received was information on how to rent privately, and were given a list of landlords to contact, only to find out that they could not rent from these landlords as their benefits did not cover the rent prices. 

Crisis says more must be done to ensure the HRA can reach its full potential of preventing and ending homelessness across England. The charity has called on the government to urgently invest in housing benefit so that it covers the cheapest third of rents and commit to building 90,000 social homes each year for the next 15 years.  

Commenting on the research Jon Sparkes, Crisis Chief Executive, said: 

“It’s deeply distressing that, across England, councils are being forced to leave the people they are trying to help on the streets or drifting from sofa to sofa – all because they cannot find somewhere safe and affordable for them to live. The HRA has made some good progress in preventing people from becoming homeless, but it’s worrying to see that it’s being constrained by a chronic lack of housing and cuts to housing benefit. 

“The HRA can be at the heart of ending homelessness for good, as this report shows, but this is only possible if councils are properly resourced and have the tools, they need to help people leave homelessness behind for good.  

“It’s vital that the Government gets to grips with the root causes pushing people into homelessness in the first place, this means ensuring more social homes are built across the country and that housing benefit is restored to truly cover the cost of rent. Only when these measures are in place will we be able to unleash the full potential of the HRA.”

May Pledges Additional £2bn for Affordable Housing

Published On: October 5, 2017 at 9:04 am


Categories: Property News

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Theresa May has pledged an additional £2 billion to build affordable housing, in a bid to “get Government back in the business of building houses”.

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference yesterday, the Prime Minister said that councils and housing associations will be able to bid for the funds, and some homes will be built for social rent below market levels.

She said that the budget for affordable housing is now almost £9 billion, which will help to build a new generation of council houses.

May vowed to take “personal charge” of the issue, and called for housebuilders to do their bit by building on land made available, adding: “It won’t be quick or easy, but I will make it my mission to solve this problem and will take personal charge of the response by reigniting homeownership in Britain once again.”

Commenting on the announcement, the Parliamentary Affairs Manager at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Lewis Johnston, says: “It is over 65 years since a Conservative conference committed the party to delivering 300,000 homes a year. With today’s housing challenge no less urgent, the Prime Minister’s plan to unleash the first major Government housebuilding programme in decades indicates the kind of ambition we need to tackle the housing crisis.

May Pledges Additional £2bn for Affordable Housing

May Pledges Additional £2bn for Affordable Housing

“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.”

He adds: “The success of the plan depends on the Government’s willingness to tackle the other obstacles to building. Alongside the already announced measures, we need bold reforms of the planning system and a deep-seated resolve to unlock the potential of modern methods of construction.”

The CEO of the National Landlords Association (NLA), Richard Lambert, also comments: “The majority of landlords would agree that more social housing should be built, and it’s about time that the Prime Minister set aside a significant pot of money to do so.

“Government, society and indeed taxpayers will get better long-term value from investing in building than in subsidising rents.”

He continues: “Today’s announcement should not only provide more available housing for those most in need at rents they can afford, it should also relieve the pressure on the private sector, and choke off the breeding-ground for the minority of rogues and criminals who get away with providing substandard housing and neglecting their tenants”.

Meanwhile, Dan Wilson Craw, the Director of tenant lobby group Generation Rent, has also responded: “Under Theresa May, the Conservatives have made a welcome shift towards more state support for affordable housing and private renters, including today’s pledge on social rents. But this trickle of incremental announcements does little to address the urgent need that renters have for lower rents and stronger protections.

“Compared with the £10 billion being ploughed into the wasteful Help to Buy scheme, only £2 billion for social housing suggests the Government is still focusing too much on the symptoms of the housing crisis rather than its causes.

“Investment in social housing would mean permanent homes for the 75,000 families in temporary accommodation and lower market rents, whereas Help to Buy will get a small minority of renters into homeownership, while pushing up prices for the rest of us.”

Lindsay Judge, the Senior Policy Analyst at the Resolution Foundation, offers her thoughts: “The commitment of an extra £2 billion for affordable and social housing is a very welcome first step towards tackling Britain’s housing crisis. With over a million people on local waiting lists for social housing, it is a timely and necessary intervention.

“We are facing a huge social housing shortage. Back in 1981, three out of every ten families rented their home from the council or a housing association. Today, that figure has halved.

“But the size of the challenge is huge. During the Macmillan years, more than 100,000 council homes were built each year. Last year, there were just 1,840 new council homes built by local authorities, with housing associations adding another 25,000 affordable homes. Today’s announcement could mean a further 5,000 homes a year. That is welcome, but it’s equally clear more action will be needed.”

She concludes: “If Theresa May wants to lead the way on facing up to our housing challenge, she will need to ensure building happens on a scale we haven’t seen for a generation, with councils backed all the way to do so. And, in the meantime, families in the private rented sector should get the greater security they deserve.”

Trade Union Backs Labour in Election as House Price to Earnings Ratio Hits 8.2

Published On: June 6, 2017 at 9:13 am


Categories: Property News

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Trade union GMB has backed Labour in Thursday’s (8th June) General Election, following its pledges to build more council homes, after research showed that average house prices in England have hit 8.2 times typical earnings.

Trade Union Backs Labour in Election as House Price to Earnings Ratio Hits 8.2

Trade Union Backs Labour in Election as House Price to Earnings Ratio Hits 8.2

The analysis by the London division of the GMB, based on Land Registry house price figures and Office for National Statistics (ONS) earnings data, showed that in the East of England, the average house price in March 2017 was £277,127, which is a huge 9.2 times the average full-time earnings for the area, of £30,000.

The situation was worst in Three Rivers, where average house prices are 15.9 times typical wages, followed by 15.1 in Hertsmere, 13.6 in Cambridge, 13.4 in St Albans and 12.9 in Epping Forest.

Across England as a whole, house prices were 8.2 times average earnings.

Warren Kenny, the London region secretary of GMB, insists that these statistics show that voters should back Labour in the General Election, due to its pledges to build one-million homes in the next parliament – half of which would be council houses.

Kenny explains: “GMB London region analysis of average house prices to average earnings in the East of England shows that the aspirations of working people on average earnings and below to own their own homes is no longer achievable.

“The Labour Party election manifesto pledges to build one-million homes in the next parliament, with half of them council housing. These figures show that more council homes for rent in all council areas are absolutely essential.”

He urges: “GMB is calling on the electorate in the East of England to get behind their Labour Party candidates in the area to realise this manifesto commitment.

“We have been talking about this problem for far too long. There can be no excuses for not providing housing to people that they can afford to live in on average wages.”

If you’re still contemplating who to vote for, this analysis by eMoov shows which political party has been best for house price growth since 1970: /best-political-party-house-price-growth/

LendInvest Finances 66 Affordable Homes in Key Crossrail Town

Published On: May 12, 2017 at 9:23 am


Categories: Property News

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LendInvest, a leading specialist mortgage lender, has completed its largest development finance deal to date with an experienced borrower, who will build 66 new affordable homes in West Drayton, Hillingdon, a town set to benefit from a Crossrail station in 2019.

LendInvest Finances 66 Affordable Homes in Key Crossrail Town

LendInvest Finances 66 Affordable Homes in Key Crossrail Town

LendInvest has been working with the borrower since June 2016, when it provided a bridging loan to acquire the site, while the client applied for enhanced planning for 53 new homes. The borrower then transitioned to a £17m development loan to finance the construction.

As construction began, LendInvest lent a further £4m to the borrower to acquire a neighbouring site that became available, on which he will build 13 new homes.

The total loan provision for both sites is £21m, with the total gross development value forecast to exceed £31m.

The development is due to complete by autumn 2018, at which point all 26 three and four-bedroom houses and 40 apartments across the two sites will be sold at affordable values, meaning that they will be priced to qualify for the Government’s Help to Buy scheme.

The Owner of Kearns Property Management and Development Ltd, Peter Kearns, comments on the plans: “LendInvest has been a fantastic partner to work with since the beginning of this development. Its flexible approach allowed us to finance the development through from pre-planning to enhanced planning. The team has been brilliant and, more importantly, they are always on hand to help every step of the way.”

Steve Larkin, the Director of Development Finance at LendInvest, adds: “Our role is to ensure we are offering both the products and the service that provides our developers with the funding and support they need at each touch point of their journey. From planning to completion, we know that working closely with a borrower and understanding their end vision is the best way to do this.

“Being able to back such a large development of affordable housing in a prime location is a great feeling. It counts massively towards our overarching goal of tackling the housing crisis in Britain.”

The Most Expensive Cities to Rent a Home Around the World

Published On: April 22, 2016 at 11:11 am


Categories: Property News

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While we may consider London’s housing crisis as severe, a recent study will prove that it is not the most expensive city to rent a home in the world. So which is?

The Most Expensive Cities to Rent a Home Around the World

The Most Expensive Cities to Rent a Home Around the World

The Global Cities Business Alliance has analysed average rent prices in cities around the world as a proportion of residents’ average wages, to determine how expensive it is to rent in these areas.

The study found that all of the 15 cities studied are struggling to develop sufficient affordable housing for their growing populations.

In at number 15, Boston is the only city on the list to have an affordable average rent – housing costs should be no more than 30% of income. With a typical cost of £1,075 per month, renting in Boston accounts for 29.8% of the average earner’s wages.

In Sao Paulo, renting costs £335 a month – 30.2% of net earnings. However, the cost of rental accommodation in the city has risen sharply in recent years. The average monthly cost of renting has surged by 33.8% since 2009.

In Sydney, an average rent of £775 will eat up 32.1% of a worker’s wage, while renting in Singapore, at £721, will take up 33% of your income.

The proportion goes up in Chicago, where an average home is £961 per month, costing you 35.6% of your salary. Parisians must spend 36.2% of their earnings on renting, at £614 a month.

In at number nine is London – the average rent of £998 is around 50.4% of a Londoner’s monthly salary.

Countdown of the most expensive cities to rent a home

[table id=8 /]

You might expect the city with the highest overall rent per month, of £1,970, to be further up the list. However, wages in San Francisco are lower, putting housing costs at 50.5% of earnings.

Those living in Dubai face paying 55.4% of their wages on renting, which costs £893 per month.

The lowest rents on the list, £269, are found in Mexico City. However, low wages in the area mean housing takes up a huge 58% of residents’ salaries. People in the city also face the longest average commute, at 113 minutes per round trip.

While a rent price of £361 a month might look cheap, renters in Shanghai must spend 58.3% of their wages on housing.

Renting a property in New York City will cost you £1,834 per month, eating up 63.1% of your earnings. This goes up to 64% in Hong Kong, where the average rent price is £1,347.

In second place is Abu Dhabi, where the cost of renting a typical property, £1,716, accounts for 69.5% of a worker’s salary.

But the top spot goes to Beijing, where the average cost of housing is an astonishing 122.9% of net earnings, pricing many people out of the city. While the average home costs £551 a month to rent – by no means the highest amount – low wages put the cost of housing at an unaffordable level.