At the end of June, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government published their ‘Additional Housing Revenue Account Borrowing Programme’. This programme, aimed at areas experiencing high affordability pressures, intends to raise the housing revenue account borrowing cap by up to £1 billion. Within the Ministerial Foreword the Secretary of State identified the need to build more homes and identified that: “Council houses are an essential part of this mix. Like the Prime Minister, I want to see a new generation of council house building.”
This is aimed at local authorities who are ready to start building new homes and in order to gain access to this funding, local authorities will be able to bid for increases to their caps from 2019 to 2020. The prospectus expects that this will increase the supply of new council and affordable homes delivered by local authorities.
Martin Tett, the Local Government Association Housing Spokesman noted that this announcement represented a “renaissance in council housebuilding that we urgently need to ensure more affordable, secure and stable homes for everyone.” Mr Tett went further, identifying that councils need to “build with no added restrictions, keeping 100% of receipts from Right to Buy sales and granting greater flexibilities on Right to Buy discounts to local communities”.