Only 2% of councils feel they are meeting policy requirements for affordable housing, says report.
88 councils’ responded to the survey and made up the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) research, supported by the Nationwide Foundation.
In the report, there is an emphasis on the shortage of resources for local authorities trying to meet a demand for affordable homes, said the TCPA.
A whopping 70% of local authorities are having to “substantially” trust developer offerings for affordable housing, says the report.
In order for councils to have more freedom in dealing with the housing shortage, there have been numerous requests, (including the Local Government Association), for the government to raise the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) borrowing cap.
For areas struggling with pressure on housing affordability, there were plans from Chancellor Philip Hammond to lift the HRA borrowing cap in the 2017 Autumn Budget.
However, this has been criticised for only being in high-value areas.
Additionally, the report (Planning for Affordable Housing), exposed that 39% of local authorities believe that their local plan is “not sufficiently ambitious” in meeting the affordable housing need of the community.
The report says:
“The government needs to show leadership in the final revised NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) to help councils create ambitious but realistic planning policies for affordable housing,”
It has been said by 70% of councils that, the new definition of affordable housing in the revised NPPF, will not meet the need for affordable housing in their area.
This is due to it overlooking social rent and connecting affordability to market prices, as opposed to local incomes.
The projects and policy manager at the TCPA, Henry Smith, said:
“The current model of delivering affordable housing isn’t ever going to work. Low-paid workers are being pushed further and further out of their towns and cities, enduring longer and costlier commutes and enjoying less time at home. Where will they go? There will be a time when people just stop travelling such long distances to get to work and whole sectors become critically understaffed.
“The government must lift the HRA borrowing cap not only in high-value areas but everywhere. The only way we can ease the demand for all housing types is if councils are given the responsibility to manage their own stock and finally provide some competition for the private sector.”
The head of policy at the RTPI, Richard Blyth, said the following to The Planner:
“The RTPI is not satisfied with the continued definition of affordable housing for rent as only 20 per cent less than market rent.
Our work on the renaissance of council building homes shows there are other ways outside of ‘developer contributions’.”
For more information, call us on 01342 890010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org