Wednesday 29 June, W16 - delivering new housing stock - Cllr Jonathan Glanz


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Housing is a key priority for councils and with reform of housing finance currently on the agenda now is an opportune time to consider how local authorities will secure investment for the future.

The Local Government Group has long called for reform of housing finance. We have argued that receipts and rents should be retained locally so they can be spent locally, that housing needs to be properly funded to ensure long-term investment, and that financial self-determination should be in place to allow investment in housing and the local economy.

But what picture is emerging as reform takes shape and how certain are we that we can achieve the investment we need to let us look to the future with confidence? This session will explore what reform means for councils and consider what is needed to secure the resources needed to fund the delivery of new stock.

Cllr Jonathan Glanz, Cabinet Member for Housing and Property, Westminster City Council
Cllr Tony Newman, London Borough of Croydon
Sukvinder Kalsi, Birmingham City Council
Chair: Cllr Mike Haines, Teignbridge DC

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Wednesday 29 June, W16 - delivering new housing stock - Cllr Jonathan Glanz

  1. 1. Fair and flexible finance for new homes LGA Conference, 29 th June 2011 Cllr Jonathan Glanz Cabinet Member for Housing and Corporate Property Westminster City Council
  2. 2. <ul><li>The need for reform – house building </li></ul><ul><li>Lowest house building in peacetime since 1924 </li></ul><ul><li>Just 640 completions by local authorities </li></ul><ul><li>Target to deliver 150,000 new homes over a four year period </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>The need for reform – housing crisis </li></ul><ul><li>1.8 million households on Social Housing Waiting List </li></ul><ul><li>Affordability ratio of 10.3 in England and 13.4 in London </li></ul><ul><li>The average age of a first-time buyer in England without parental support is 39 </li></ul><ul><li>More than 1 in 10 households in London are overcrowded </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>We need to build more homes… </li></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>Progress to date </li></ul><ul><li>New Homes Bonus – financial benefits for local authorities </li></ul><ul><li>Affordable rent – injection of resources </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible allocations – freedom to assign social housing according to local priorities </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>More still to do… </li></ul><ul><li>Fairer rents – 200 social housing tenants in Westminster earn more than £100k p.a. </li></ul><ul><li>Reform the HRA system </li></ul><ul><li>Greater freedom for local authorities </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>Option 1:Borrowing against future revenue streams </li></ul><ul><li>Could be accounted for outside of government DEL limits but still counted as public expenditure </li></ul><ul><li>Precedent set in Scotland </li></ul><ul><li>Would still be subject to the Prudential Borrowing Code and Government would retain powers to impose borrowing limits </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>Option 2: Changing the fiscal rules </li></ul><ul><li>A) </li></ul><ul><li>Altering the status of public debt </li></ul><ul><li>‘ General Government Gross Debt’ (GGGD) rather than ‘Public Sector Net Debt’ (PSND) </li></ul><ul><li>Or… </li></ul><ul><li>B) </li></ul><ul><li>Making an exception of local government </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>Benefits of reform </li></ul><ul><li>Up to 300,000 new homes over a decade </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced benefits bill and lower cost of temporary accommodation </li></ul><ul><li>Up to £1bn more to invest in existing stock </li></ul><ul><li>Increased employment in the construction sector </li></ul><ul><li>Boost to GDP </li></ul>