A report by MPs on the Treasury Select Committee has called for the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap to be abolished so councils can build more homes to help the Government meet its target of 300,000 a year. It says without such reforms, plans to tackle the housing crisis will fail. Read a full copy of the report.
LGA Lib Dem Group Leader, Howard Sykes, said: “The cross-party House of Commons Treasury select committee has certainly seen the light and has just released a report calling on the housing borrowing cap to be abolished, echoing the long standing call from the Liberal Democrats and the LGA.
“And at the Liberal Democrat spring conference next month a motion which is being tabled by ALDC includes re-affirming our pledge to scrap the borrowing cap. It is by no means the only measure we need to get more socially rented and affordable housing built, but if we are to meet the target of 300,000 homes a year then this can only help.
“We are calling for other steps – for example reform of legislation over empty homes and compulsory purchase orders, so councils have more power to deal with those properties. We’re saying that local government should have the power to direct the use of public owned land which is being sold off – including those owned by Whitehall departments – for socially rented or affordable housing. And also we will pledge to reform the Right to Buy – giving local councils the option on whether to continue with the scheme or not.
“Only time will tell if the government will listen to the calls for reform – but Liberal Democrats will keep up the pressure for action.”