Two questions raised in Parliament on housing. The effects of bad housing on mental health, the need to build one million more homes, and the Government’s response to the report Too Little, Too Late? Housing for an ageing population
Tuesday June 16th 2020
My Lords, has the Minister seen the report published by the Affordable Housing Commission which says that 13% of adults surveyed claimed that their mental health was being adversely affected by their housing situation? Does the Minister accept that behind the stress, and despite the significant strides which have been made, there is still a shortage of more than 1 million homes and places to live? We need to do more to target people in low-income groups, people who are poor and people who are young and still living in their family homes.
There is no doubt that we need to see more homes of all types and tenures to house vulnerable groups, in particular those who have been mentioned by the noble Lord. It is important to recognise, however, that the amount of money which has been set aside for affordable housing—£12 billion—is an unprecedented sum, with which we seek to build 250,000 affordable homes, including those for social rent which the noble Lord has pointed out are so needed
Lord Greenhalgh, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL5154):
Question from Lord Alton of Liverpool
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Cass Business School, the Association of Retirement Community Operators, and the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation Too Little, Too Late? Housing for an ageing population, published on 3 June. (HL5154)
Tabled on: 03 June 2020
This Government is committed to ensuring that more people than ever before can access a safe, secure, affordable place to call home. That is why, in the revised National Planning Policy Framework, we strengthened policy to create a clear expectation that all councils have policies in place for addressing the housing needs of older people. We also widened the definition of older people in the Framework to include those approaching retirement and have published further planning guidance to assist councils to get the right policies in place. Many older people are already benefiting from the more than 460,000 affordable homes we have delivered since 2010.
Building on the current £9bn Affordable Homes Programme, the Chancellor announced in the last budget that we are investing £12bn to build affordable homes between 2021/22 and 2025/26. This will be the biggest cash investment in affordable housing for a decade. Since 2012-13 we have also provided over £2.7bn, delivering around 280,000 adaptations by the end of 2018-2019 to ensure older and disabled people can live independently and safely in their own home.
The cross-government initiative ‘Home of 2030’ aims to inspire and reward the ambition of housing providers, designers, the supply chain and others through a design and delivery competition which addresses the major challenges of future housing needs: an ageing society and climate change. The competition’s aim is to normalise new homes which are low-carbon, deliver low energy bills and are age-friendly, enabling all generations to live independently in housing which adapts to their needs as they age.
The Government is working hard to ensure our economy is protected in the long term and is committed to building more homes. We will continue our progress towards our target of 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s. This will see us build at least a million more homes, of all tenures, over the next Parliament – in the areas that really need them. This includes reform of the planning system, including ensuring that planning permissions are built out more quickly, and more than £44bn of financial support over five years to 2022/2023.
We are continuing to work with providers and others to ensure we can provide a range of housing options to meet the needs of everyone including older people and welcome this report as a contribution to the debate about how we can encourage the provision of a range of high-quality housing options for older people.
Date and time of answer: 16 Jun 2020 at 16:00.