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Public backs more social housing in new poll

Nearly two thirds of people want to see more social housing built in their area, according to a new survey.

A report published today (26 June) by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) contains the details of a new Ipsos Mori poll, which shows six out of 10 people would support more social housing being built in their area.

The survey also reveals that 68% of people believe social housing plays an important role in tackling poverty in Britain, while 78% agree that social housing should be available to people who cannot afford to privately rent a home.

The report also calls on the Government to suspend the Right-to-Buy scheme in order to stem the loss of more socially-rented homes.

In addition, it recommends linking social housing rents to local incomes and improving consumer regulations to give social housing tenants more protection.

The CIH report comes just weeks after the Local Government Association warned councils’ ability to replace homes sold under Right to Buy will be all but eliminated within the next five years unless there is major reform of the scheme.

‘The message we got from our research was loud and clear – social housing has a unique and positive role to play and it is highly valued,’ said CIH chief executive, Terrie Alafat.

‘It’s also clear there is a huge disparity between the support for social housing demonstrated in this report and the current level of investment.

‘And there is still a stigma attached to social housing as a product and the people who call it home. We can only truly start to tackle the chronic shortage of affordable housing in this country by putting social housing at the centre of government plans to solve the housing crisis,’ added Alafat.

‘We must now reclaim social housing as a pillar of the society we want to be, along with free health care and education. And we need to push on – creating an ambitious vision of what a plentiful supply of social housing can do to help people thrive in communities that prosper.

‘I want to be very clear – yes the government needs to make some big changes but landlords must step up and take action in a number of areas without waiting to be told what to do. The sector must own its future.

‘Ultimately, we cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we are failing to provide a safe, decent and affordable home for everyone who needs one,’ added the CIH chief executive.

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