The new independent Affordable Housing Commission (AHC) is chaired by Lord Best and includes housing experts and parliamentarian commissioners. The Smith Institute will act as secretariat to the commission and the NHC will be supporting the commission by holding an event on 1 March 2019 (this event focuses on the North East and Yorkshire and Humber – there are other events taking place in other regions)
In preparation for its launch, the AHC published the results of a national poll, showing that two thirds of people believe that there is a national crisis over affordable housing and 52% believe it will get worse over the next decade.
The AHC has identified four key groups for whom the affordability of their accommodation is causing serious difficulty:
- Struggling renters: these are required to spend more than a third of their income on rented accommodation; they are often in the private rented sector (PRS), although the problem is also evident in in the social housing sector.
- Frustrated homeowners: those unable to buy a property without spending over a third on housing costs; many, who struggling to save and without significant parental support, are destined to remain in the PRS.
- Those reliant on state support: households that rely on Housing Benefit/the housing component within Universal Credit, but current arrangements provide inadequate support, taking many below the poverty line.
- Those who face affordability issues in older age: whose incomes drop suddenly in retirement but whose rents remain the same (something which could become a bigger issue for generation rent in the future), but also older owners in unsatisfactory homes who cannot afford to upgrade their property or acquire somewhere suitable.
The AHC is keen to hear a range of views on how these problems of housing affordability can be ended and is hoping to bring together a small number of major policy initiatives which could make a dramatic difference. The AHC is keen to ensure that attention is focussed on the issues that matter most.
The AHC has produced a note providing more detail on the scope of the AHC’s research and further information on the Commission can be found on the Affordable Housing Commission website.
The NHC has been invited to submit evidence to the AHC and we are keen to seek views, comments and evidence from members to inform our response.
The deadline for NHC to submit its views to the Commission is the 4th April 2019.
You can feed into the work of the Commission by
- Attending the AHC/NHC event on 1st March details here – to book please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Submitting your comments directly to the Commission via the Affordable Housing Commission website
- Submitting your comments to the NHC to contribute towards our response on behalf of members – please submit comments by 22 March
If you have any queries or wish to submit your evidence, please email to Karen Brown, Senior Policy Advisor email@example.com