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Bedour Ibrahim

There was a net loss of 11,684 social rent homes in 2022-23

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

Sunday 09/June/2024 - 11:52 AM
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More than a quarter of a million social rent homes in England have been lost in the last decade، according to analysis of government statistics.
Between April 2013 and April 2023، the number of social housing homes owned by local authorities and housing associations in England fell by 260،464 units، according to the charity Shelter، which calculated the figures.
Polly Neate، its chief executive، said: “We are seeing more social housing being sold off or demolished than built، despite the staggering 1.3m households stuck on social housing waiting lists in desperate need of a genuinely affordable home.
“Without enough social housing، every other area in the system bottlenecks. As a result، the country is hitting one shameful record after the next، with 145،800 children homeless in temporary accommodation – the highest number ever – private rents at record highs and rising evictions.”
The fall in England’s social housing stock has been driven by a combination of property demolitions، the right to buy scheme that allowed council tenants to buy their homes، and housing providers converting social rent accommodation into markedly more expensive “affordable rent” housing.

The number of social rent homes lost in these ways exceeds additions to the social housing stock in the form of new-builds and acquisitions.

There was a net loss of 11،684 social rent homes in 2022-23، the most recent year for which figures have been published. Some of the biggest losses occurred in Birmingham، Leicester، Barnet and Leeds.

Building affordable social homes

Neate called on all parties to address the issue: “Political parties of all stripes must commit to building genuinely affordable social homes – 90،000 a year over 10 years is the only way to end the housing emergency for good.”

Claire Holland، housing spokesperson for the Local Government Association، said: “Councils can play a critical role in solving this country’s housing crisis if they are given the powers and resources to build more of the genuinely affordable homes our communities desperately need.
“Our white paper sets out a range of proposals for whoever forms the next government to boost housing supply. This includes granting five-year local housing deals، which combines national funding، for all areas of the country that want them.

The delivery of social homes

“This will provide certainty and efficiencies and could support delivery of an additional 200،000 social homes in a 30-year period.”