Briefing: General Debate on Social Housing

By: Poppy Terry  Published: June 2019


Shelter is the UK’s largest housing and homelessness charity. Last year we gave information, support and advice to millions of people experiencing bad housing and homelessness.

For generations, social housing played a vital role in meeting the housing needs of ordinary people, giving millions the quality and dignity of life that insecure and unaffordable private renting could not. A steep decline in social housebuilding has contributed to an increase in homelessness and a huge increase in private renting as more and more cannot afford to buy a home. Government is currently spending billions of pounds a year on housing benefit, much of which goes to private landlords, and councils are spending hundreds of millions on temporary accommodation to house homeless households.

Shelter’s independent commission into the future of social housing is calling for a new generation of social housing, with more building, and better conditions. The Commission report calls on the government to:
* Rediscover publicly built housing as a key pillar of our national infrastructure by building 3.1 million new social homes over the next 20 years
* Protect tenants by introducing a new, separate social housing regulator responsible for proactively enforcing consumer housing standards


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