A recent PfP survey found over three-quarters of people believe more social rented homes are needed to tackle homelessness

Places for People has urged the next government to make building 90,000 social rented homes a year a “top priority”.


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The 245,000-home housing association joins other voices in the sector, such as Shelter, the National Housing Federation and the last Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee in calling on the government to increase delivery of social rented homes to 90,000 homes a year. 

The results of a Places for People (PfP) survey of 4,000 people, released today, reveal that 80% of respondents see homelessness as a major national issue, and 77% believe the government needs to build more social housing to address it.

In addition, 81% of those surveyed said that the government should provide more funding to prevent homelessness.

One-fifth of respondents said they feared that they or someone they know will become homeless within the next year.

The survey was conducted by market research agency Opinium on behalf of Places for People.

This concern is higher among renters, with 30% of private renters and 29% of social renters worried, compared to 15% of homeowners.

PfP is also calling for public interest-led development groups to deliver the homes that communities need. Public interest-led development involves local authorities or government bodies like Homes England leading the development process, typically in partnership with private sector landowners, developers, and investors.

In the last year, PfP has completed 1,750 new homes, of which 86% are affordable and 265 are social rent properties. A further 1,944 homes were started in the last year, of which 74% are affordable and 210 will be available for social rent.

>> See also: Housing Today calls for affordable housing funding review and planning overhaul

>> See also: Building 90,000 new social homes a year ‘could boost British economy by £50bn’

The latest government data shows 3,898 people were counted as sleeping rough across England on a single night in Autumn 2023, and 121 in Wales. In Scotland, 2,438 households reported rough sleeping during the previous three months before applying for support in 2022/2023.

According to Shelter, there are 1.29m households waiting for a social home in England, 110,900 in Scotland and 90,000 in Wales.

John Greaves, chief impact officer at Places for People, said: “We know that building 90,000 social homes a year will be a challenge, but we’re ready to help. We see an opportunity to deepen our collaboration with partners and work closely together as part of public-interest-led development groups. This would bring developers, local authorities, members of the public and others together on larger schemes to plan and deliver the quality homes needed in a more joined-up and community-focussed way. This could be supported by giving Homes England greater flexibility over funding to deliver on more challenging sites. We want to put ourselves forward to work closely with Homes England and a local authority on a specific site to trial this model, building on the development corporation approach”.

Greaves added: ”As a sector, the concerns we have raised time and time again around the need for more social homes have not been listened to by Government in recent years. So, we are now urging whoever forms the next Government to listen to the people of the UK and put delivering more social homes at the top of your priority list. Talking’s over, it’s time to build.”