Social rent homes in England fall by more than quarter of a million in decade

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More than a 4th of a cardinal societal rent homes successful England person been mislaid successful nan past decade, according to study of authorities statistics.

Between April 2013 and April 2023, nan number of societal lodging homes owned by section authorities and lodging associations successful England fell by 260,464 units, according to nan kindness Shelter, which calculated nan figures.

Polly Neate, its main executive, said: “We are seeing much societal lodging being sold disconnected aliases demolished than built, contempt nan staggering 1.3m households stuck connected societal lodging waiting lists successful hopeless request of a genuinely affordable home.

Polly Neate pinch a Shelter logo successful nan background
Shelter main executive Polly Neate said that 1.3m households were stuck connected societal lodging waiting lists. Photograph: Martin Godwin/The Observer

“Without capable societal housing, each different area successful nan strategy bottlenecks. As a result, nan state is hitting 1 shameful grounds aft nan next, pinch 145,800 children bum successful impermanent accommodation – nan highest number ever – backstage rents astatine grounds highs and rising evictions.”

The autumn successful England’s societal lodging banal has been driven by a operation of spot demolitions, nan correct to bargain strategy that allowed assembly tenants to bargain their homes, and lodging providers converting societal rent accommodation into markedly much expensive “affordable rent” housing.

The number of societal rent homes mislaid successful these ways exceeds additions to nan societal lodging banal successful nan shape of new-builds and acquisitions.

There was a nett nonaccomplishment of 11,684 societal rent homes successful 2022-23, nan astir caller twelvemonth for which figures person been published. Some of nan biggest losses occurred successful Birmingham, Leicester, Barnet and Leeds.

Neate called connected each parties to reside nan issue: “Political parties of each stripes must perpetrate to building genuinely affordable societal homes – 90,000 a twelvemonth complete 10 years is nan only measurement to extremity nan lodging emergency for good.”

Claire Holland, lodging spokesperson for nan Local Government Association, said: “Councils tin play a captious domiciled successful solving this country’s lodging situation if they are fixed nan powers and resources to build much of nan genuinely affordable homes our communities desperately need.

“Our achromatic insubstantial sets retired a scope of proposals for whoever forms nan adjacent authorities to boost lodging supply. This includes granting five-year section lodging deals, which combines nationalist funding, for each areas of nan state that want them.

“This will supply certainty and efficiencies and could support transportation of an further 200,000 societal homes successful a 30-year period.”

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Shelter besides recovered that backstage rents successful England are connected mean £828 a period higher than societal rents.

Karly, a mother of 3 from Bideford successful Devon, was made bum successful December 2020 because of a narration breakdown. After 2 months successful impermanent accommodation, she was capable to move into societal rented housing, for which she pays £470 a period rent. “People connected nan aforesaid roadworthy who rent privately are paying anyplace betwixt £850 and £1,100,” she said. “They’re nan aforesaid assembly houses, but they were bought [under correct to buy], truthful they’re now privately owned.”

A Conservative statement spokesperson said: “Thanks to our clear scheme and bold action we person delivered 1m homes this parliament and almost 700,000 much affordable homes since 2010.”

Source theguardian