Published: 15th Apr 2013

According to the Institute of Public Policy Research we need to build 230,000 new homes a year. Take a look at housing waiting lists and we need many more. In fact a board member of one provincial housing association told me recently that, ‘If every one of our 5,000 tenants moved out tomorrow, we could fill our homes straight away from people on the waiting list!’ Yet government investment in new social housing remains too low, at just £4.5bn in the current year. Contrast that with the £95bn being spent on housing benefits, and you wonder if the balance needs adjusting. Yes of course many social housing tenants claim housing benefit, but too much of it ends up in the deep pockets of private landlords. And as demand pushes up rents so understandably they take advantage. The so called ‘bedroom tax’ has highlighted the fact that we also have the … (To read the full article, subscribe below)