Report: Levelling up with social housing

By: Shaan Bhangal and Tarun Bhakta
Published: November 2021

Report: Levelling up with social housing

There is a housing emergency in every corner of this country. From struggling coastal communities and unequal cities to neglected towns and villages. Finding a good-quality, energy efficient home at a fair price is out of reach for so many people – yet everyone needs a safe, stable and secure home to thrive.

This report tells the story of the housing emergency in three locations - Sheffield, Plymouth and Burnley – through the experiences of our hubs and the people they support. In these case studies we explore the obstacles people face when trying to access a good-quality home that they can afford.

Investing in social housing would deliver good-quality, energy-efficient homes that local people can afford and thrive in. That’s because genuinely affordable social rents allow people to save and build their lives.

And now the government is pouring billions into new projects through its levelling up agenda – roads, train stations, schools and new town centres – there is a risk that housing costs in these areas will increase. With this, people will be priced out of their areas and excluded from the benefits that investment might bring.

That’s why there must be a plan to make sure that local people will benefit in the growth that comes from levelling up. And this starts by delivering homes for local people – social housing with rents pegged to local incomes that remain affordable over time.

But at present, the government's Levelling Up Fund is not dedicated to providing social housing.

To truly level up, we need to match pound for pound the investment made into infrastructure with investment in social homes – under the levelling up agenda.