Local government can play a central role in meeting targets and the wider demand for housing.
The new Government has pledged to deliver 275,000 affordable homes by 2020 and councils are ambitious to increase the supply of affordable housing.
Many local authorities are already working in partnership with the private sector, and others are planning to do so. No sector, either public or private, can meet the demand for affordable housing alone.
The Government should ensure that local authorities are able to support house building by giving councils flexibility on their assets, providing a local stable framework and planning system, and devolving funding for housing.
Investing in affordable housing can help reduce the £24 billion annual housing benefit bill1; boost employment in the construction industry; support local economies; reduce the £2.5 billion cost of poor quality housing to the NHS.
Centrally imposed exemptions to affordable housing and infrastructure contributions undermine councils' abilities to ensure new developments benefit local communities.