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Redefining social housing

20 October 2010

The CSR has delivered the expected 50% cut in the social housing budget. In addition, affordable housing will be “redefined” with new tenants offered intermediate rents at around 80% of the market rent. Terms for existing tenants will not be changed.

This will soften the blow of the grant cuts. However, it will lead to harsh results – neighbours paying different rents, more people dependant on benefits to afford rents and fewer “affordable” homes in higher value areas.

According to the Chancellor, increased rents will deliver 150,000 new affordable homes over four years – that will do little to address current demand. Indeed, won’t the reduction in grants, housing benefit cuts and “redefinition” of affordable housing mean increased demand for social housing will exceed any increase in supply?

The CSR repeatedly mentions the need to reform social housing to make it “more responsive, flexible and fair”. Today has been light on the detail but it’s clear the Government intends there to be change and probably sooner rather than later.

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