As a footnote to the review of Municipal Dreams – The Rise and Fall of Council Housing by John Boughton, please see link to Guardian article from October 2019 https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/oct/28/meet-the-councils-quietly-building-a-housing-revolution.
The article highlights the revival of council house building that Boughton referred to and gives details of attractive developments in Doncaster, Bristol, Bournemouth, Nottingham and Norwood.
Encouraging though this trend is, of the new housing being delivered by councils, only 23% is social-rented, while 42% is affordable (up to 80% of market rent), along with 10% intermediate (including shared ownership), 16% for sale and 8% private rented sector. The gap between social rent and affordable rent is estimated by homelessness charity Shelter to be £1,737 per year, meaning bigger housing benefit bills in turn.
There is a shortage of quality homes at social rent and the continued selling of council properties under right to buy isn’t helping. As an example in 2018 Nottingham built 600 homes to add to its housing stock but 436 homes were purchased at a discount under right to buy.
Pictures below are recent council houses in Bristol (left) and Nottingham.
31st January 2020