Prime Minister Theresa May has called for an end to the stigma of social housing, as she pledged money to provide tens of thousands of new homes.

The Government has announced a £2bn funding boost for housing associations as it called for an end to the stigma of social housing.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the money would be used to help more people get on to the property ladder and ensure those who could not afford to buy their own place had somewhere they felt proud to call home.

Under the scheme, housing associations will be able to apply for funding as far ahead as 2028/29, offering them greater long-term certainty and enabling them to plan better.

The move aims to give them the stability they need to build tens of thousands of affordable and social homes, as well as making it easier for them to access private finance.

Why is this happening?

The funding package is part of a push by the Government to encourage housing associations to take a lead in building more properties.

In a speech to the National Housing Federation Summit, May called on housing associations to not just acquire a proportion of the properties commercial developers build, but to be active in large-scale, high-quality developments themselves.

She said with the right tools and support, they could act as strategic long-term investors in delivering the homes the country needed.

Above: Two-bedroom flat for sale at Elephant Park, London, via L&Q

Who does it affect?

The funding boost means more affordable and social homes will be built going forward.

Ben Denton, managing director of Legal & General Affordable Homes, explained: “This will help to deliver more homes at levels that residents can afford in areas which need it most.”

But May also called on housing associations to use their unique status and social mission to change the way society viewed social housing.

She said there was still a stigma attached to social housing, with some residents feeling marginalised and overlooked, while others were ashamed to share where they lived.

She said: “I want to see social housing that is so good people are proud to call it their home.”

What’s the background?

The Government has committed more than £40bn in total to increase the number of homes being built in the UK, with initiatives ranging from putting in infrastructure to enable developments to go ahead, to removing some of the planning permission barriers.

Eight housing associations have already been given nearly £600m to enable 15,000 new affordable homes to be built.

There are also plans to introduce greater flexibility in the way housing associations can spend money from homes sold under the Right to Buy scheme.

The Government has previously promised to rebalance the relationship between landlords and tenants in social housing with the possible introduction of landlord league tables.

It is also planning to strengthen the current regulatory network and make it quicker and easier for tenants to complain.

Top 3 takeaways

  • The Government has announced a £2bn funding boost for housing associations
  • The money will be used to help more people get on to the property ladder and build more social housing
  • Under the scheme housing associations will be able to apply for funding as far ahead as 2028/29

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