More than 150,000 of the most affordable rented homes have been lost across England in just five years, according to analysis from the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).
Figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and Homes England show that 103,642 local authority homes and 46,972 housing association homes for social rent were lost between 2012 and 2017.
Most of the losses were down to homes being converted to ‘affordable rent’ or being sold through the right to buy scheme, while some were demolished.
Based on current trends, CIH is projecting that 230,000 homes for social rent will have been lost between 2012 and 2020 – 158,642 council homes and 70,972 housing association homes.
Chief executive of CIH Terrie Alafat said:
“For many people on lower incomes, the only truly affordable option is social rent. It is simply unacceptable that we are losing so many of our most affordable homes at a time when more and more people are in need.”
“But government investment is still heavily skewed towards the private market. Our analysis shows that 79 per cent of the housing budget up to 2020/21 is directed towards private housing, with just 21 per cent going to affordable housing.
“Rebalancing this budget, so that more money is spent on affordable homes, could make a big difference.”
CIH said the government could also make some simple changes to the right to buy scheme to help councils build more homes to replace those sold.