Home Truths

Home Truths

The g15, which represents London’s largest housing associations, has welcomed a new report by the National Housing Federation.

The Home Truths 2012 report reveals that homelessness has increased by 26% over the last two years and 417,830 more working people are now reliant on housing benefit to help them pay rising private rents. The report predicts that rents in the capital could rise by 29.9% by 2018.

Londoners account for around 35% of all homeless households and 75% of those in temporary accommodation, including over 55,000 children. The NHF report states that just over 20,000 new homes were built in the city in 2011/12.

Keith Exford, chair of the g15 and chief executive of national affordable housing provider Affinity Sutton, said:  “The NHF’s Home Truths report shows that thousands of hard working but low paid Londoners are being priced out of the market and are increasingly reliant on housing benefit to meet the high costs of private renting.

“We welcome the report’s calls for the whole housing industry to take a long term approach across all housing tenures to tackle the housing crisis. London needs a mix of good quality affordable homes to deliver the workforce and skills that London’s employers need.  Investing in affordable housing creates jobs and will deliver considerable savings for government.

“Our g15 members will build a quarter of London’s new homes by 2015. We want to work with the Government to improve delivery to help solve the housing crisis. Our members can double delivery if public sector land can be released on preferential terms.”

The g15 is supporting the National Housing Federation’s new Yes to Homes campaign.

Key points in the g15’s reaction to Home Truths 2012:

  • We welcome the report and its approach to tackling the chronic shortage of housing through considering the issues across the whole housing market, not just a single tenure.
  • We support the call for government to release public land and brownfield development sites for housing associations to build much needed new homes. The NHF estimates that each brownfield site could deliver up to 100 new homes.
  • Modest levels of social housing grant from government or discounted public land make it possible to develop homes at rents affordable to those on low incomes. This is a far cheaper option than higher cost private renting.
  • Cutting red tape and giving housing associations the flexibility to use their homes and other assets to deliver more homes is something we have previously called for.