On Wednesday 2 February 2022, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Michael Gove MP, introduced the new ‘Levelling Up’ White Paper.
jLiving supports the proposals and echoes The National Housing Federation’s sentiments that housing is a key factor in levelling up the UK and we hope that the contribution that small community led housing associations can make will not be ignored.
We hope that the proposals will open up more engagement at all levels within our communities.
The main points in the white paper are:
The white paper states ‘there is significant unmet need for social housing, leaving people paying high rents in the private rented sector unable to save for a home of their own’. Housing associations are key partners to delivering this unmet need. The paper contains a welcome emphasis on regeneration and clarifies where existing funds will be directed.
The white paper proposes a ‘new model of government and governance of the UK’ to unite and level up the country. It commits to a ‘London-style’ devolution deal for every part of England that wishes to have one by 2030. These new structures could provide opportunities for the strong partnership working between housing associations and combined Mayoral authorities needed to tackle our homelessness and affordable housing crisis.
Funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be delivered through local authorities, with three priorities: communities and place, local business, and people and skills.
The white paper commits the government to introducing the Social Housing Regulation Bill.
The white paper presents an opportunity to showcase the entire housing sector, as we’re community anchors, making a real impact on many of the aims of levelling up. The National Housing Fund has been engaging with the government and the opposition on how housing associations can play a key role in levelling up.