A new report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has concluded that almost all local authorities are not meeting affordable housing needs in their areas. The report also found that in 67% of local authorities overall housing need was not being met.
The IPPR’s report says that the newly created regional mayors across the UK could have a big role in delivering the housing that is needed, and focuses on four combined authorities: the west of England, the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, and Tees Valley.
According to the report, new additions to dwelling stock are failing to meet housing need. As a result, of the 265,936 homes that are needed, just 189,650 were added to dwelling stock in 2015/16. Of the four areas examined, only in Tees Valley is housing need being met. The West of England region would need to build another 1,060 homes a year, and the West Midlands a further 2,812. Greater Manchester has the worst housing deficit, missing its target by 42% or 4,518 homes.
On affordable housing, the IPPR found that only 8% of councils are meeting their supply targets. In the four combined authorities the report focuses on, no area is providing the number of affordable homes their populations need as suggested by the government’s new housing targets.
In order to tackle the significant problems identified nationally and in the four regions considered, the IPPR concludes Government should take a stronger approach to affordable housing at a national level, setting a threshold of 35% for affordable housing for all private developments, with a higher threshold of 50% for developments on all public land. Other recommendations include supporting a new wave of council house building by removing the cap on borrowing placed on councils by the Housing Revenue Account, and granting extra powers to regional mayors to deliver housing.