Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Starting to Build More Social Homes

Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Starting to Build More Social Homes

Article excerpt

Local authorities are building more homes after years of relying on registered social landlords to increase social housing.

Government figures reveal that councils built a total of 299 new homes during 2005/06 - up from just 100 the year before.

Although both totals are tiny compared with the 17,901 homes built last year by RSLs, the increase suggests that councils are making more use of asset sales, prudential borrowing and the Private Finance Initiative to boost their stock.

Sarah Webb, director of policy at the Chartered Institute of Housing, urged other councils to follow their example. 'I would like to think this is the start of local authorities realising that there are some imaginative schemes to be put together,' she said.

Local authority house building dried up in the 1990s after the government tightened borrowing rules and gave tenants more opportunity to buy homes through the right to buy scheme. …

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