Green paper proposals need more cash, say housing bodies

11 May 00
Major housing organisations have made a joint appeal to Chancellor Gordon Brown for extra money to fund proposals in last month's housing green paper.

12 May 2000

They say the Spending Review must take account of a £19bn repair backlog in council houses as well as the need to improve private sector properties. Proposals to help key workers in areas of high housing demand will also require extra resources.

The letter to the chancellor has been signed by the Local Government Association, the National Housing Federation, Shelter and the Chartered Institute of Housing.

It acknowledges that an additional £3.6bn allocated in the last review is helping to improve social housing, but warns that an extra sum will be required to implement initiatives set out in the green paper. 'The government has now come forward with a range of measures which, though largely welcome, will make additional demands on public funds,' says the letter, sent to the chancellor on May 8.

Private funding raised by local authorities and housing associations, which already amounts to £15bn, will not be sufficient on its own, the letter says. 'Public investment remains crucial to lever in the external funding needed in so many new build and regeneration initiatives.'

The four organisations, which are requesting a joint meeting with the chancellor, also call for simplification of the housing benefit system. Limits to the benefits that may be claimed by single people under 25 who live in single rooms should be removed, they argue.


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