Labour fury as damning figures reveal ‘entire city’ of social rent homes lost since 2012

Posted On: 
6th February 2019

Labour has blasted the Government after it emerged tens of thousands of the cheapest rental homes for some of the poorest in society have disappeared in six years.

A Labour source said: “These stats are absolutely extraordinary”
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The number of houses available for the lowest social rents in England has plummeted by more than 165,000 since 2012, according to a new analysis by the Chartered Institute of Housing.

The housing standards body also calculated that almost 200,000 will have been lost between 2012 and 2020 if current trends continue.

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Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey told PoliticsHome: “This analysis makes clear the massive loss of social housing under the Conservatives.

“It is indefensible that communities are losing affordable homes when they have never been so badly needed.

“Labour will halt the right-to-buy, stop the conversion of social homes into more expensive housing and build a million low-cost homes, the majority for social rent.”

A Labour source added: "These stats are absolutely extraordinary – the number of social homes we’ve lost in the last six years alone is equivalent to an entire city the size of Coventry."

Figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, as well as housing quango Homes England, revealed the losses in social rented properties.

They showed the number of local authority homes had plummeted by 117,828, while the number of housing association homes had dropped by 47,869 between 2012 and 2018.

The CIH said that numbers had continued to fall, despite some new social rent homes being built, because of right to buy sales and because properties were being converted to more expensive ‘affordable rent’ homes or demolished.

'UNACCEPTABLE'

CIH chief executive Terrie Alafat said: “It is simply unacceptable that we are losing so many of our most affordable homes at a time when more and more people are in need.

“We need to increase the number of homes we are building but it’s not just a numbers game – we need to make sure we are building the right homes, in the right places, at the right prices.”

The CIH said its projection of future losses was lower than in previous years because ministers had announced more funding for housing associations and lifting the borrowing cap for councils to build houses.

SOCIAL HOUSING 'A PRIORITY'

But Housing Minister Kit Malthouse said: “Providing quality and fair social housing is a priority for this government – evidenced by the fact we have delivered over 400,000 affordable homes since 2010.

“Our ambitious £9 billion affordable homes programme will deliver 250,000 homes by 2022, including homes for social rent. A further £2 billion of long term funding has already been committed beyond that as part of a ten year home building programme through to 2028.

“And by abolishing the borrowing cap, we’re also giving councils extra freedom to build the social homes their communities need and expect.”