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LGA fears housing bill reduces availability of affordable homes

Words: Laura Edgar

Homes for affordable and social rent will be ‘crucial’ in helping communities access the homes they need now, says the Local Government Association (LGA) in a letter to The Guardian.

In its letter, the LGA also said it was concerned that some proposals in the Housing and Planning Bill “run the risk of reducing the number of genuinely affordable rented homes that our local communities desperately need”.

The letter was signed by David Hodge, leader of LGA Conservative Group; Sharon Taylor, deputy leader of LGA Labour Group, Marianne Overton, Leader of the LGA Independent Group; and Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of LGA Liberal Democrat Group.

Proposals “forcing councils” to make payments to the government based on selling council homes will “hamper” councils’ ability to invest in new affordable housing, say the councillors. The unintended consequences of this, says the LGA, would be increased homelessness and pushing more families into the “more expensive private rented sector”.

The LGA urged the House of Lords to back amendments that allow councils to retain enough receipts from every home sold to be able to replace it in the same area. The letter also urged peers to support amendments that would allow councils to decide how many starter homes and affordable rented homes are on each development to ensure that they meet an area’s particular needs.

The letter can be found on the Guardian's website.