General Election 2017 round-up
As voters head to the polls today we take a final look at what each party is promising on housing and welfare and what we think the new government should prioritise.
As our chief executive Terrie Alafat said last month, all three major parties have rightly recognised that we need an ambitious long-term plan to get to grips with our national housing crisis. Of course, the details and commitments vary quite widely – if you need a reminder of what each manifesto is promising on housing and welfare, check out our infographic and our head of policy Melanie Rees’ latest blog.
CIH members have told us that they think truly affordable housing hasn't been given enough focus in the manifestos. Although 60 per cent of people who took part in our latest member opinion panel poll either strongly agreed or agreed that housing has got the attention it deserves just 25 per cent thought there had been enough focus on truly affordable housing.
We believe more investment is urgently needed in genuinely affordable homes to rent. Whichever party emerges victorious tomorrow, the next government should look at rebalancing the housing budget – affordable housing currently accounts for just 16% of direct total investment.
They should also take the opportunity to review the welfare reforms which have been brought in since 2012 and those that are still to come. We are getting to the stage where even the most affordable housing is out of reach for people who need any kind of help with their housing costs.
Finally, we need more action on homelessness, which has been steadily rising in all its forms since 2010. The new Homelessness Reduction Act is a good first step, but legislation on its own is simply not enough – councils must have the resources they need to deliver their new obligations.
We know that housing professionals across the UK are ready to work with the new government on tackling our housing crisis, and we have teamed up with the National Housing Federation, Shelter, Crisis, the British Property Federation, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Royal Town Planning Institute, the Home Builders Federation, the National Federation of ALMOs, the Association of Retained Council Housing, the Northern Housing Consortium and the Town and Country Planning Association to call on tomorrow’s winners to harness that expertise to get the right homes built in the right places. Take a look at our joint letter in the Independent.