A cross-party report has warned the government that it must launch the largest social housing drive in the history of the country to ensure people aren’t living in unsuitable or overcrowded homes.
This is the verdict of the Big Conversation, a national consultation that has investigated the need for council and social housing in England.
Shelter has been key to the consultation, which was set up in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy in order to listen to social housing tenants who felt they didn’t have a voice.
And research from the 16-strong commission, which includes former Labour leader Ed Miliband, as well as Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, has created a bold plan for change that has been delivered to the government.
Its findings have called for the development of more than three million extra social homes by 2040 to give security for millions, and help young families save for their futures.
The call for more housing would eclipse the number of social homes built in the 20 years after World War Two, and it would require a significant increase in the government’s social housing target.
Last year, the number of homes built for social was less than 6,500; this is down by nearly 30,000 from just 10 years ago. With more than one million families on waiting lists for social housing, it is clear that the number of homes the government is building for this purpose needs a dramatic rethink.
To satisfy demand, Shelter’s commission has recommended this historic renewal of social housing, which will all the benefits to be offered much more widely.
In addition, the commission has called for a new regulator that will protect social and private renters, and enforce standards.
Upon the launch of the recommendations, Mr Miliband said: “The economic case is overwhelming. We can’t afford to not make this investment in social housing.”