Shelter launches campaign to build 90,000 social homes a year in bid to end housing emergency

In the run up to the general election, Shelter is campaigning for political parties to commit to building at least 90,000 social homes a year for 10 years

Made in social housing

Shelter, the national housing and homeless charity, has launched a campaign to get government to build more social housing in a bid to end the housing emergency.

In the run up to the general election, Shelter is campaigning for political parties to commit to building at least 90,000 social homes a year for 10 years, which it says would end homelessness, house most people on waiting lists, improve health and education outcomes, save the NHS money, improve children’s life chances and boost jobs and employment.

The charity states: “In England, 300,000 people are currently homeless – and rough sleeping has more than doubled since 2010. Without enough social homes, people are stuck homeless in temporary accommodation or struggling to pay extortionate rents in the private rented sector. And yet, we’re still losing more social homes every year than we’re building. It’s never been more urgent to fight for more and better social homes.”

Last month, the government’s own housing statistics also showed that a record 145,800 children are now homeless in England. There are also 1.3 million households on waiting lists for social housing in England alone.

Recent research by Shelter and the National Housing Federation found that building 90,000 social rent homes a year would pay for itself within three years, add over £50 billion to the economy over 30 years and support 140k direct jobs in the first year.

Shelter’s campaign, called ‘Made in Social Housing’, highlights the value that social housing can bring to individual households and communities, with the uplifting tagline framing this as a badge of pride.

A short video for the campaign features actor Eddie Marsan and Suggs from Madness, with the campaign also set to be supported by more high-profile names.  The aim is also to highlight the positive experiences and real benefits that social homes have given people.

Osama Bhutta, Director of Campaigns at Shelter, told LFF: “Our Made in Social Housing campaign is a celebration of social housing. It looks to challenge and shift attitudes by shining a light on the positive impact social homes have had on the lives of people who grew up in them and to wider society.

“Decades of failure to build enough genuinely affordable social housing has left the country’s housing emergency at tipping point. With 1.3 million households in England stuck on the social housing waiting list and 145,800 children homeless and living in temporary accommodation, there has never been a greater need for quality social homes.

“We want political parties of all stripes to commit to building a new generation of social homes with rents tied to local incomes – we need 90,000 a year for ten years to end homelessness.”

You can sign up to support the campaign here.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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