grant shapps

Kiran Stacey

Grant Shapps, the housing minister, announced on Thursday that social housing providers will build 170,000 new affordable homes over the next four years, 20,000 more than expected and a lot more than some doomsayers warned would be possible.

Unsurprisingly, the communities department hailed this as a great triumph, but there remain serious questions about whether there will be enough subsidised homes for everyone who needs one.

So what should we celebrate, and what is there to worry about in Thursday’s announcement? 

Jim Pickard

The government figures on Right to Buy make fascinating reading. The number of deals has fallen to just 3,860 last year – a mere twentieth of the 84,100 figure only seven years ago. I’ve repeated the stats below.

It suggests that the issue may be a sideshow to the real priorities around social housing that the government needs to address in the coming months. The main one being that with the DCLG (communities department) facing cuts of around 30 per cent to its budget, social housing will inevitably be hit very hard.