Thank you for contacting me about social housing and the housing market.
I am fully committed to supporting the social rented sector and its 4 million households.
Social housing stock across England plummetted by almost half a million homes between 1997 and 2010, making it harder for many families to access social housing. I am encouraged that over 1.5 million new homes have been delivered in the last decade including almost 500,000 affordable homes and over 300,000 affordable homes for rent.
Looking to the future, £9 billion has been made available through the Affordable Homes Programme to March 2022 to deliver approximately 250,000 new affordable homes, including homes for social rent. At the last Budget, £12 billion was announced to build affordable homes between 2021-22 and 2025-26, making it the largest cash investment in affordable housing in a decade.
However, funding alone will not solve the problem, which is why I welcome action to make the development system simpler and more robust. A new £10 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund will unlock more homes by putting in place vital infrastructure in high-demand areas. I also look forward to the publication of the Social Housing White Paper later this year, which will set out further measures to ensure social housing decent and secure through better regulation and redress.
Waiting lists for social housing increased 73 per cent, rising from just over a million households in 1997 to almost two million households by 2009. In the decade since then social housing waiting lists have declined by 34 per cent as of 2019.
Specifically on the Covid-19 crisis, you may be interested to know that guidance has been published to social housing tenants, which outlines measures of support during this difficult time. You can view this information online here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-letter-….
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP