Responding to the housing announcement by DCLG which proposes to take housing associations’ debt off the balance sheet, Cllr Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s Housing spokesman, said:
“It is vital that the Government also lifts the cap on the amount councils can borrow to build homes and remove that borrowing from contributing to the national debt. That is essential to provide a sustainable long term financial framework for councils to invest in desperately-needed new homes.
“All social housing must be treated the same and council housebuilding must be part of the solution if we are to stand any chance of solving our chronic housing shortage.
“As a nation we need to build more than 300,000 homes a year, and we’re currently building roughly half that. The last time this country hit that number, in the 1970s, councils built more than 40 per cent of new homes.
“We have no chance of housing supply meeting demand unless councils can build again. For that to happen, the Chancellor needs to use the Autumn Budget to let councils borrow to build again.
“It is also important that housing associations continue to work with councils to provide the genuinely affordable homes our communities desperately need.”