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Majority of councils say NPPF viability test hinders affordable homes provision

Published: Friday, 20th May 2016

New report shows only seven per cent of councils believe that the government’s starter homes initiative would help address their affordable housing need...

Nearly three-quarters of councils (72 per cent) believe the viability test in the National Planning Policy Framework hinders their ability to provide social and affordable housing, research has highlighted.

Only 11 per cent of those surveyed for a report on housing need published by the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) and the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) considered that the test would provide the numbers of homes needed.

The survey of council leaders, chief executives, heads of planning, heads of housing and heads of finance said 96 per cent of councils describe their need for affordable housing as “severe” or “moderate”. Only seven per cent thought that the government’s starter homes initiative would help address affordable housing.

The report, Homes for all: Ensuring councils can deliver the homes we need, recommended that councils should not be forced to sell-off their social housing to fund the extension of Right to Buy. Most councils were worried that the extension of Right to Buy would lead to less housing available for social rent.

Meanwhile in a separate but related development London mayor Sadiq Khan has claimed that his predecessor delivered the lowest number of new affordable homes since current records began back in 1991, just 4,880.

Khan also rubbished Boris Johnson’s record on requiring affordable homes in new development. He said Johnson left a legacy of only 13 per cent affordable homes as a result of development during his two terms in the capital’s hot seat. Khan wants to see 50 per cent of all new London homes to be genuinely affordable.

Roger Milne