Social housing sector should see tenants as ‘huge asset’ | Residents' Network news

Social housing sector should see tenants as ‘huge asset’

Housing associations and councils should see tenants as “huge assets in their arguments for social housing”, a leading tenant campaigner has said.

Pat Turnbull of the London Tenants Federation made the remarks at a recent HQN event on building back better.

She said: “The government is spending money on housing, but not on social rented homes.

“We think the money from government going to the private sector would be much better going towards social rented homes.

“Housing associations and councils should see tenants as huge assets in their arguments for social housing. If we can unite on one single message over the need for public housing, that would be impactful.”

Speaking alongside Turnbull was Tom Copley, Deputy Mayor for Housing in London.

He spoke of his frustrations of the “national constraints” around building social housing, adding that the Mayor is “still not getting the financial support for council or social housing that we would like to see”.

And while he hopes the recent increase in council housebuilding is the start of a “renaissance”, Copley said more needed to be done to convince government.

“The route into encouraging the government into social housing at the moment is jobs and the economy.”

The other speaker on the panel was Aileen Evans, Chief Executive of Grand Union Housing Group and CIH President.

Evans was sure of what she wanted to see to ensure the building of more social housing occurred.

“We seem to want to increase home ownership without decreasing house prices. We put subsidy into demand side but all they will do is inflate house prices and house very little of the population. The route to home ownership is to build social housing.

“Building social housing is not just about providing homes for people. It is about creating jobs for people and it puts money into the Exchequers pocket.”