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Whats stopping councils from building more houses?

The CIH-NFA-ARCH survey had 22 detailed responses from  authorities ranging from five London boroughs to large cities in the Midlands and North and several medium and small authorities.

Although the numbers responding were limited, the replies throw considerable light both on local authorities’ new-build plans and on the opportunities and constraints they still face.


Author: Chartered Institute of Housing; National Federation of ALMOs; Association of Retained Council Housing

Publication date: January 2020

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Innovation in council housebuilding

Council housebuilding must be at the centre of a renewed effort to deliver homes that generate growth and that communities need now and into the future. This new report shares examples of councils that are doing just that. The case studies of council housebuilding show how councils are opening up opportunities to build good quality homes that are designed to be accessible, affordable and energy efficient.

There is a wealth of information in this report about the context for council housebuilding, the broader picture of housing delivery led by councils and an analysis of the process councils have gone through to set up active building programmes. It is drawn from the direct experience of councils and their insights into setting up new building schemes. It is a complete and detailed study of delivering innovation in council housebuilding, presented here in sections so that councils can draw easily on the parts that are most relevant to them.

Case studies of innovative housebuilding projects are a core part of the report. Chapter eight provides ten case studies of council housebuilding programmes around the country. The report is both a complete study and individual sections of useful information and resources.

Author: Housing Quality Network

Publication date: August 2018

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Delivering the renaissance in council-built homes: the rise of local housing companies

Local housing companies (LHCs) are independent arms-length commercial organisations wholly or partly owned by councils. They can develop, buy and manage properties within and outside of a local authority area. The homes LHCs provide sit outside of the local government housing financing system (Housing Revenue Account) and are not subject to the Housing Act and most of the social/affordable housing regulations.

Over the past few years the number of companies has increased among councils across the whole of England. This study of LHCs shows that the vast majority are engaged in the provision of affordable housing, as well as market housing for rent and sale.

Although the number of LHCs has risen dramatically, there have been few studies on their evolution or impact on meeting local housing needs. There is no official register or database of LHCs and few case studies. This report is an attempt to fill that information gap and better understand the extent to which LHCs are developing as alternative providers of affordable homes.

The research, including an on-line poll of councils, roundtable meetings and interviews with practitioners and experts, has attempted to document the emergence of LHCs, in all their shapes and forms.

Author: Paul Hackett, The Smith Institute

Publication date: October 2017

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Building our homes, communities and future

At the Local Government Association Annual Conference in July 2016 the LGA published the preliminary findings from the commission. Since then they have sought to take forward solutions, they have been impressed and proud of the work underway in the sector, and encouraged by the initial response from the Government. The Autumn Statement’s confirmation of additional investment and flexibility for councils to help build affordable homes, and to invest in infrastructure linked to housing growth both reflect central asks from the preliminary findings.

This final report sets out further detail, and sets out some key asks in advance of the Housing White Paper. But it is not the end of their work. The LGA will continue to develop these ideas with the sector, building up the case for policy change where it is needed, and capturing and sharing innovations that will help councils in their efforts to meet housing need.

Author: Local Government Association

Publication date: December 2016

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