London boroughs seek to turbocharge council housebuilding

London Councils has urged the government to deliver a boost of historic proportions to local authorities’ ability to build new homes.

A century after the Addison Act was signed into law, which gave local authorities significant new duties and funding for council housing, London Councils are warning of a chronic shortage of social housing, with approximately 55,000 London households living in temporary accommodation and the capital accounting for almost 70 per cent of England’s homelessness total.

Boroughs are committed to building new council housing but face continuing constraints on their ability to deliver homes at significant scale. The boroughs therefore want the government to end restrictions on use of Right to Buy receipts and to provide clarity over long-term social rent levels, arguing that these measures will make council housebuilding much more financially viable.  

Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ executive member for Housing & Planning, said: “As we mark 100 years since the passing of the Addison Act, it’s time to turbocharge council housebuilding through a new Addison alliance between central and local government.

“We want to work with the government to address restrictions on our ability to build. Through just a few key policy changes, the government could have a massive impact. For example, ending the unfair rules around the use of Right to Buy receipts would mean all money raised from council house sales in London could go back into building replacement homes.

“This would be the sort of boost to blue-collar communities that I hope the new housing minister can get behind. I look forward to the opportunity to meet with her so that we can discuss our shared ambitions and work in partnership to deliver the new generation of council housing we all want to see.”

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