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UK housing associations seek £42B of government funds to build social homes

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UK housing associations seek £42B of government funds to build social homes

U.K. housing associations are seeking £42 billion of funding from the government to build social homes during the 2020s, far above the £2 billion so far pledged by Prime Minister Theresa May, London's Financial Times reported.

May promised the funds during the National Housing Federation, or NHF, conference in London in September, but did not provide clarity on how much more funding will be committed to the sector once the five-year budget of £9 billion ends in 2021.

The NHF believes that the sector needs £40 billion for sufficient construction of social housing over the coming decade, while Paul Hackett, chair of the G15, which represents London's largest housing associations, estimates that the sector requires £35 billion to £42 billion of funds during a seven-year period from 2021, according to the report.

The estimates are based on the requirement for 340,000 new homes per year in Britain through 2031, with some 90,000 to be set aside for "social rent," FT reported, citing a report by Heriot-Watt University for the NHF and homelessness charity Crisis. The publication added that a total of 217,000 homes were built in 2017.

According to the NHF, the government could raise additional funds by making legislative reforms to allow the state to benefit from increases in land values as a result of planning permission and infrastructure projects.