Crisis responds to government's social housing green paper

Today as the Government releases its social housing green paper, Crisis calls for a 'significant increase' in social housing supply to make a real difference 

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said:

“It’s good to see the government consulting on plans to make sure social housing tenants are fairly treated, and taking the issue of improving social housing conditions seriously – but this green paper has to go further. In order to solve homelessness the government must also significantly increase England’s supply of social homes, and that means setting targets for building the new social homes that are urgently needed.

“Our latest research shows that in England we need to build 90,000 homes at social rent levels every year for the next 15 years, to meet demand amongst those on the lowest incomes. That’s a far cry from the 5,000 built last year. The government must also address the barriers that stop many homeless people accessing social housing, such as rules that bar tenants with previous rent arrears or ask them to prove a connection to a local area.

“Homelessness has a severe impact not only on the people who experience it, but on everyone in our communities. No one can contribute to society or build a future for themselves without a stable home. In order for the rough sleeping strategy announced yesterday to be successful, we need to have targets for building the social homes this country needs. The government must put in place the policies that will end homelessness for good.”


Definition of “social housing” and  “homes at social rents”

The quote above defines “social housing” and “homes at social rents” as homes that are let to tenants at social rent levels – these rents are subject to guideline levels that were originally set with reference to manual earnings and other factors. Our definition does not include homes let to tenants at “affordable rent” levels – this is a category of social housing let at up to 80% of the local market rent. They are typically more expensive than homes let at social rent levels.

90,000 social homes statistic

This statistic is from research published in May by the National Housing Federation and Crisis. https://www.crisis.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/england-short-of-four-million-homes/ 

5,000 social homes statistic

This statistic refers to new homes for social rent in 2016-17: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/657916/Live_Table_1006_-_1009.xlsx. The 2017-18 dataset will be published later this year.