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Conservative councillors back charity's call for low-cost rental homes

Over 70% of Conservative councillors and housing leads have indicated that £2 billion pledged for affordable housing is not enough to meet the needs of their constituents. 

The poll, carried out by Survation on behalf of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), spoke to 121 senior Conservative councillors from across the county.

Almost all of those surveyed (96%), admitted that the government's upcoming Social Housing Green Paper should address the supply of low-cost rented homes as part of its affordable housing review.

Following its research, the JRF is now restating its call for the government to deliver at least 80,000 low-cost rental homes each year to meet growing demand.

“Right now, millions of people are locked out of being able to achieve a decent standard of living due to crippling rents,” says Campbell Robb, the JRF’s chief executive and formerly of housing charity Shelter.

"There is widespread consensus in every region, every political party and across the entire housing sector that we need significantly more investment in low-cost rented housing.” 

"Struggling families are relying on the Prime Minister to live up to her stated mission of redesigning our housing market so it works for everyone,” he says. 

“Only by addressing the chronic shortfall in the supply of low-cost rented homes, can the Government begin to loosen the grip of poverty."

Lord Gary Porter CBE, Conservative councillor, leader of South Holland District Council and Conservative member of the House of Lords, adds: "The Prime Minister has made it clear that getting more homes of all types, including social housing for rent, built is one of the government’s key priorities and Conservative local government supports the commitment to deliver an average of 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s."

"If local government is to play our role in meeting these ambitious targets we need to be given greater freedom to build new homes,” he says. 

Lord Porter argues that allowing councils to build homes ‘at scale’ would boost local economies and productivity, while reducing housing benefit spend and homelessness.

"Last Autumn’s Budget saw a positive step in that direction when the Chancellor lifted the housing borrowing cap for councils in areas of high affordability pressure,” he says.

“We have consistently called for the cap to be lifted for all councils. Doing so would spark a renaissance in house building, allowing us in local government to do our bit to help address the housing crisis."

Poll: Should the government make low-cost rental homes one of its housing priorities?

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