Council housing could boost UK economy by £320bn

A ‘new generation’ of high-quality council housing could boost the British economy by £320bn over the next 50 years, according to town hall leaders.

Figures released ahead of today’s Budget by the Local Government Association (LGA) show every £1 invested in a new social home could generate £2.84 in the wider economy.

And every new social home would generate a saving of £780 per year in Housing Benefit, the LGA has claimed.

The analysis, which looks at four different future economic scenarios, demonstrates how new social housing will deliver huge gains to tax payers.

The worst-case economic scenario still results in a £102bn return.

Town hall leaders want to see a national ambition to work towards delivering a new generation of 100,000 high quality social homes every year.

Last month, the Prime Minister responded to calls from the LGA to remove the borrowing cap, which has prevented councils from building at scale.

The LGA is urging the Chancellor to fulfil that pledge and set out plans for the borrowing cap to be removed entirely as part of the Budget.

The LGA is also today launching a report showcasing how councils are building new homes.

It reveals councils’ focus on high standards, supporting local small builders, creating jobs and training for local people, and building on sites and for people that others are not.

‘The LGA had been in conversations with the Chancellor Philip Hammond, Housing Secretary James Brokenshire, and the housing team at No 10, to secure the lifting of the housing borrowing cap and it was great to finally get it over the line last month,’ said LGA chair, Lord Porter.

‘There was rightly universal acclaim of the decision by Theresa May to lift the cap which has been severely hampering the ability of councils to play a leading role in tackling our chronic housing shortage – it is the right thing to do, and everybody knows it.

‘The last time we built enough homes councils built 40 per cent of them. We need to get back to those levels if we’re to tackle our housing crisis, which is why we need to look towards delivering a new generation of 100,000 high quality social homes a year,’ added Lord Porter.

‘The gains are enormous. Investments in social housing could generate returns up to £320 billion over 50 years, helping countless families along the way by creating local jobs and building homes people need and can afford.’

‘On Monday, the Chancellor has a real opportunity to deliver a once-in-a-lifetime change that could benefit thousands of people across the country. We encourage him to take it.’

To read the LGA report – Innovation in council housebuilding – click here.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top