This work has been developed with PfP who will work with CCHPR in further development of the research aims and methods.
There is much change in the field of housing and planning at the current time. The Housing and Planning Bill currently being discussed in parliament proposes new Starter Homes, extensions of the Right to Buy to housing association tenants, higher rents for higher earning social tenants and sales of higher value council homes when they become vacant.
There have also been sweeping cuts to grants available for building social housing and a compulsory one percent rent cut brought in this year, which will reduce the finance available for developing more housing.
Welfare reforms are also depleting the ability of low income tenants to pay their rents and this is likely to worsen with the proposed capping of housing benefit for social tenants at Local Housing Allowance (LHA) levels.
Taken together, these changes put social landlords in a difficult position if they want to develop new social housing, or even hold on to what they have already. PfP have established a hypothesis that:
The combined effect of a series of inter-related Government policies on land use; planning; capital funding for housing; housing association regulation; and Right to Buy will dramatically reduce the volume and overall proportion of social and affordable rented housing in England over the coming decade. Major policy changes that could reverse this reduction are unlikely given the Conservative commitment to home ownership and their current political domination.
The research will explore this hypothesis.