On 16th June Baroness Sanderson of Welton asked Her Majesty’s Government “when they plan to publish the social housing White Paper“. The Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, asked a follow up question focusing on the loss of social housing units.
The Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, these Benches welcome the upcoming White Paper, but we are still losing tens of thousands of social housing units annually, with a net loss of 17,000 in 2019 alone. Can the Minister confirm to your Lordships’ House that increasing social housing will be addressed in the White Paper, and is he able to give us some indication as to the steps that Her Majesty’s Government will implement to address this worrying decline?
Lord Greenhalgh: It is fair to say that the record of this Government is quite impressive when compared with the previous decade under Labour. Some 450,000 affordable homes is considerably more than the 399,000 built during the years 2000 to 2010. Of course, the Chancellor has already set out a considerable sum of money—an unprecedented sum of £12 billion—for the affordable homes programme and, by lifting the housing revenue account borrowing cap, many local authorities are now building council homes again. Although we are waiting on the social housing White Paper, a lot has been done to ensure the continued supply of affordable housing and social rented housing.