The supply of social rented homes – council housing and housing association homes let at genuinely affordable ‘social’ rents – has fallen by almost 210,000 in England between 2012 and 2020, according to the Chartered Institute of Housing’s annual UK Housing Review 2021.
Despite 70,000 new social rented homes being built, over 280,000 have either been sold, converted to higher rents, or demolished since April 2012, creating a net loss of 209,351. The two biggest reasons for this being right to buy sales (121,000) and conversions of letting to higher (‘affordable’) rents (116,000).
The review warns that the position is likely to get worse due to the pandemic. Just 10,531 affordable homes of all types were started under grant-funded programmes in the first half of 2020/21, compared with 17,980 for the equivalent period in 2019/20.
The government has promised 32,000 new social rented homes outside London in the next five years,
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