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20 of England’s largest local authority landlords call for the government to save council homes

Orange-bricked council homes on a gloomy day with grey clouds in the sky

Since March this year (2024), Sheffield City Council has been working alongside the largest council landlords in England to develop recommendations that can ‘secure the future of England’s council housing’.

The 20 largest local authority landlords in England have come together and are calling for the government to ‘save council homes’ as they discuss the increasing threat to the future of our country’s council housing. Today (Wednesday 10th July) sees the publication of an interim report setting out how we all believe this can be achieved.

As a Council, we appreciate this will be no easy task. Nationally, there is higher demand on social housing than ever before. This creates significant logistical and financial challenges as we seek to both maintain and increase social housing. But we believe that by working alongside these other local authorities, lobbying for support from Government and sharing best practices these pressures can be eased.

By joining with our fellow social housing landlords, we hope this work can be enhanced by highlighting to government the urgent need for widespread upgrades and improvement in council houses nationwide.

The Future Council Housing summit, hosted by Southwark Council in March was the first of its kind, bringing together the country’s largest local authority social landlords who each manage around 20,000 council homes or more.

The work has continued since then. This week, the project team are releasing the interim report setting out ‘detailed and practical recommendations’ for government as the next steps. These are:

  • A new fair and sustainable Housing Revenue Account (HRA) model – including an urgent £644 million one-off rescue injection, and long-term, certain rent and debt agreements
  • Reforms to unsustainable Right to Buy policies
  • Removing red tape on existing funding
  • A new, long-term Green & Decent Homes Programme
  • Urgent action to restart stalled building projects, avoiding the loss of construction sector capacity and a market downturn

Councillor Douglas Johnson, Chair of Sheffield City Council’s Housing Committee, said:

“We as a Council have supported this project since the very beginning. We believe it to be crucial in getting social housing to the top of the agenda for the new Government and helping build a better, brighter housing future for all.

“We are proud to be a part of this group of social landlords that own our council housing. So many of our residents make their homes in this great city in a social housing property. It is a fundamental public service we provide and we want to see better investment in housing to enable us to maintain these to the highest standard.

“Working together, we can get social housing recognised for the vitally important role it has in the social and economic wellbeing of our residents.”

For more information on the interim report, head to the Southwark Council website.

The full report is due to be released later this year.