Search

Prime minister’s plan to scrap borrowing cap may help Redbridge Council build more homes but will there be enough builders to erect properties after Brexit immigration proposals?

PUBLISHED: 10:49 04 October 2018

Before the introduction of the cap under Margaret Thatcher, councils built around 10,000 homes a year - but post cap, the number dropped to as low as 100. Picture: Google

Before the introduction of the cap under Margaret Thatcher, councils built around 10,000 homes a year - but post cap, the number dropped to as low as 100. Picture: Google

Google

Redbridge Council said the government has “listened to common sense” after the prime minister announced plans to lift the cap on the amount councils can borrow to build more homes.

After strutting on stage, while dancing to Abba’s Dancing Queen, Theresa May used her closing speech at the Birmingham Conservative Party conference to reveal that she is getting rid of the borrowing limit on Wednesday, October 3.

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) also welcome the news but said recent government immigration plans could hamper how many houses actually get built under the scheme.

Responding to the announcement yesterday by the prime minister, leader of the council, Councillor Jas Athwal said: “Along with many other council leaders, I’ve been saying for a long time that the Tory government needs to remove the shackles from local government and take a serious look at the problem with the amount councils can borrow to solve the housing crisis.

“I’m pleased the Tories have finally listened to common sense.

“We have a severe lack of affordable housing in Redbridge, and more widely in London and we have been taking the lead in fixing the shortage by building four new affordable housing developments this year alone and pledging to build 1,000 more homes.

“I am excited at the prospect of building more council homes for our residents and being able to take families out of unsuitable and often cramped and insecure accommodation. There are still major challenges as we need to source builders and construction takes time, but I can’t wait to help the many people on our council house waiting list.”

The leader said he will look at the details of the plans more closely but anything that removes government bureaucracy and gives local authorities more freedom to deliver housing that residents “so desperately need” is welcomed.

Before the introduction of the cap under Margaret Thatcher, councils built around 10,000 homes a year - but post cap, the number dropped to as low as 100.

The extra amount of investment will be dependant on how many councils decide to borrow, but Mrs May said it could be around £1billion a year.

Brian Berry, FMB chief executive said: “This is the most exciting, and potentially transformative announcement on council housing for many years.

“It is something the house building sector and local authorities have been crying out for since the last economic downturn as a means by which to increase house building.

“Indeed, the only times the UK has built sufficient numbers of homes overall is when we’ve had a thriving council house building programme.

“Local authorities have a strong interest in delivering new affordable homes and many would have the appetite to directly fund this, but have been frustrated from doing so by an artificial cap on their ability to borrow against their assets to build homes.

Mr Berry said that while the plans are a “bold and praiseworthy move” new homes of any sort will not get built if the industry doesn’t have the people needed to build them.

“Recent announcements on post-Brexit immigration rules, if implemented as currently understood, will be a serious threat to our ability to deliver on the promise of this policy.

“The failure of the government so far to listen to the construction industry could, unfortunately, threaten the delivery of the government’s increasingly bold moves to solve the housing crisis.”

Latest Ilford Stories

Yesterday, 11:43

Essex Senior League: Redbridge 1 Sporting Bengal United 2

Yesterday, 12:00

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

I have been campaigning hard on the serious issue of cutting Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) maximum stake from £100 down to £2 since 2005.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

First-half goals from Snodgrass and Antonio settle matters for Hammers

Saturday, December 15, 2018

The 48-year-old discussed the 4-0 victory over Beaconsfield Town and the future of top goalscorer Macauley Bonne

Saturday, December 15, 2018

FA Trophy first round: Leyton Orient 4 Beaconsfield Town 0

Saturday, December 15, 2018

FA Trophy: Ebbsfleet United 0 Dagenham & Redbridge 1

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Christmas, the time of year when we are pressured to buy things no one wants for people we don’t want to buy for at prices we’re not happy with.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The Exchange in Ilford has added a state-of-the-art, Savannah-themed play area, with hand painted animal sculptures, to its brand new family zone, designed by American creative agency Playtime

Are you an unpaid carer aged 25 or over? Are you interested in working towards getting into or back into work? Do you need practical help and support to get ready for this big step? If your answer is yes to at least two of these questions read on.

Struggling to find a buyer for your home in a slower market? We speak to Ilford property expert Nina Kaura from Portico about the Crossrail effect and why getting things right first time will get you the best price for your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

Ilford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now