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New Government must make housing a priority

Many other respondents called for stability – whether it was economic stability, stability of funding the Supported People programme or continued support for the current regulatory regime.

 The report from the first quarterly UK Housing Panel survey examines the work of housing professionals to prevent homelessness, provide an affordable and safe place to live and meet tenants’ care and support needs. At the same time, the shortage of affordable housing, long waiting times, high demand and the challenge of improving existing homes have been compounded by the recession and the prospect of public spending cuts. Over half (57 per cent) of respondents are planning to make budget cuts within their organisations in 2011.

The challenge faced by housing professionals in meeting housing need is underlined by the length of waiting times for social housing. According to the majority of UK Housing Panel members who were able to put a figure on it, average waiting times for social housing range were between 6 months and three years for 2-bedroom properties in their most popular areas. However, one in five of those who were able to report on waiting times said that people could wait over five years for a house.

CIH is urging the next government to make housing a central plank of its social and economic policy and commit to increasing the supply of social homes, address the problem of housing affordability and set out clear plans to improve the worst of the private rented sector.

Sarah Webb, CIH Chief Executive, said:

"With the prospect of a new UK Government and the inevitable public spending cuts, housing is in for a period of uncertainty. Our UK Housing Panel is overwhelmingly telling us that continued investment in new affordable housing is vital to make sure we meet the demand for homes and to continue to support vulnerable and low-income households in need of stability and a decent place to live. CIH and housing professionals are ready to work with the next Government and the housing community to meet the challenges and maximise the opportunities that the new decade brings for the future of housing and communities

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