The Prime Minister announced £2 billion of funding to build new homes in England, and raised a commitment to remove the ‘stigma’ of social housing.
It’s a start – there much, much more to do – but let’s welcome the fact that the Government once again sees social housing as a valuable part of the solution to the nation’s housing crisis.
There is much to be welcomed in this statement. Our tenants made tackling stigma one of their key asks of the housing Green paper – and this message has clearly been heard. But how? We now need the Government to do something about it, so our residents don’t face discrimination because of where they live. We’ll be discussing residents’ views on this and the other ideas in the Green Paper at a special event that we’re holding for residents on Tuesday 9 October at the Nottingham Council House. We’re arranging for some of our residents to meet the Housing Minister, Kit Malthouse and we’ll continue working with our residents to make sure their voice continues to be heard at the highest levels.
The biggest ask from the 1,600 tenants who came to our recent fun day was to build more Council housing. We have already built, or are in the process of building, nearly 700 affordable homes for Nottingham families on behalf of the Council – the biggest programme of new Council house building in a generation. But with 6,000 local households on our waiting list, we urgently want to build more homes for Nottingham people.
Nottingham was not allowed to bid to raise its HRA debt cap in the last Government round of social housing funding. We hope that the Government has listened to Nottingham tenants and will provide Nottingham with some of this new funding to build new homes where they are needed.
We were pleased to hear Theresa May praise the contribution social housing has made to millions of lives. The PM said, “The rise of social housing in this country provided what has been called the “biggest collective leap in living standards in British history”. It brought about the end of the slums and tenements, a recognition that all of us, whoever we are and whatever our circumstances, deserve a decent place to call our own.”
It is a testament to all those who continued to believe in the value of social housing, that we now have Prime Minster acknowledging this. And the PM has got her quote about the “biggest collective leap in living standards in British history” from us – it is taken from our very own history of council housing in Nottingham Homes and Places Homes and Places: A History of Nottingham’s Council Houses