The National Housing Federation has launched a campaign to invest in social housing, supported by a wide cross-section of housing sector.
Here is an open letter they have sent to the Government.
We are writing to urge you to put good quality, affordable housing at the heart of your plans for social and economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
This pandemic has transformed our relationship with our homes. For some, home has been a sanctuary from a dangerous and unpredictable virus. Home has become their office, a classroom, a gym or a place of worship. But for countless others, the place they have spent lockdown has felt like a prison – housing that is far too small, too expensive, of poor quality or isolated from the support that would help them to live well.
The coronavirus crisis is further highlighting the need for secure, high quality, better designed affordable homes and, for many people, support to live in them. Not least for many of the people most affected by this crisis – low-paid key workers living in homes they can’t afford, rough sleepers helped off the streets, homeless families in temporary accommodation, older people in unsupported homes, and families stuck in overcrowded conditions.
Without action, we are likely to see many people’s housing situations get much worse in the weeks, months and years ahead, as the economic impacts of the crisis are felt across the country.
In times of crisis, the worth of social housing is ever more visible and to so many of the challenges that lie ahead, social housing is the answer. The social housing sector stands ready to play a major role in shoring up the future of the country.
• Public investment in all types of new and existing social housing gives more back to the economy than it takes.
• Building and improving social homes, including delivering on the decarbonisation agenda, creates jobs, kick-starts growth and brings huge environmental benefits.
• Investing in supporting people to live well in their social homes improves health and wellbeing, and drives cost savings for the NHS.
• Social housing is at the centre of thriving communities.
That is why we support the Homes at the Heart campaign.
As you develop and deliver plans to get the country back on track, we are calling on the government to put social homes at the heart of recovery – as a driver of economic and social prosperity, and an anchor for strong communities.