The UK’s social housing stock is in need of regeneration, as many homes do not meet the Government’s Decent Homes Standard and fall short of its energy efficiency target of an EPC C rating. This report models the benefits of investment in social housing regeneration, for the wellbeing of inhabitants, the environment and for local economies.
Social housing has suffered from years of underinvestment. The decline in the real value of social rents has limited the funds available to social housing providers, who have prioritised new construction. Government policy has reinforced this shift, as capital investment in social housing remains below 2009/10 levels, and the support that is available is targeted towards new construction.
The recent announcement from Homes England that funding from the Affordable Homes Programme can be used for regeneration is welcome, but more needs to be done.
The report models the effect of retrofitting all social homes that do not meet the Decent Homes Standard and improving the energy efficiency of EPC D-rated social homes to an EPC C rating. We find that investment in social housing regeneration could generate an additional 20p of value in local economies for every £1 spent.
To improve social housing conditions and take advantage of the wider benefits of social housing regeneration, the report recommends:
- Making existing funding for social and affordable housing easier to access;
- Increasing the Affordable Homes Programme by £1.5 billion a year for three years and £2.3 billion thereafter;
- Introducing a one-off spending programme of £0.75 billion per year for three years to bring all social homes to decent standards.