The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for councils to be given the powers to build thousands of ‘desperately needed’ council homes to ‘spearhead’ the recovery from COVID-19. Post-pandemic, 100,000 affordable homes are needed to provide housing for key workers and the families of those who lost their lives to the virus. This would also address the downturn in construction because of the virus as housebuilders closed their sites, the LGA argues. 

Such a programme would also benefit the economy, help the government to achieve its target to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s, and alleviate pressures on health and social care that result from poor housing conditions, according to the LGA.

Delivery of Council Housing – Developing a Stimulus Package Post-Pandemic sets out the key issues and recommendations for the government to deliver a social housebuilding programme. 

David Renard, housing spokesman for the LGA, said: “As the nation comes through the biggest crisis we have faced since the Second World War, we owe it to the health, care and other essential public service workers, who have risked their lives to keep the country running to provide them with affordable, high-quality homes fit for heroes.

“A programme of 100,000 social homes a year would not only meet a third of the government’s housebuilding target, but it would generate a range of social and economic benefits.