Government sanctions 2,000 new council homes

October 7, 2009

The go-ahead for 2,000 new council homes to be built across England has been given the all clear by Ministers. The project will cover 47 areas and has been called the biggest of its kind in the past 20 years. It comprises of twelve areas.

Housing minister John Healey said: ‘We have committed to use the power of government investment to help Britain through the recession. The boost for affordable housing will help build the homes we need and it’s also a shot in the arm for the construction industry, creating over 5,000 jobs.’

But the Audit Commission report says there is too much emphasis on new building and that councils could do more to improve health and educational achievement by improving existing stock. For instance, spending £2,000 on adaptations to help an elderly person stay in their home could save £6,000 a year in care costs, it argues.

Audit Commission chairman Michael O’Higgins said: “Councils aspire to shape the communities in their area for the better. “In tougher times, it is all the more important that councils think strategically and creatively about housing and take their housing responsibilities seriously.”