Housing Shortages: What Councils Can Do (Housing Commission report)

The Housing Commission was jointly commissioned by the LGA and DCLG to report on what councils could do to address housing shortages.

The document contains a few errors, not least of which (unless it is our error) is that for new homes councils will retain both 6 years council tax AND a further 6 years New Homes Bonus on top.  Our understanding is that council tax receipts will continue to go back to central government (except for receipts accruing from reductions in the discount on second homes) - in other words the status quo will continue.  The NHB will then be paid back to LAs, so only one lot of council tax not two.

It is very disappointing to find little mention of the role of empty homes in meeting housing shortage.  This deficiency is highlighted in a revised proposal that would see the New Homes Bonus given for the gross number of new homes, not the net number.  That might have been acceptable if there had also been a proposal for an alternative reward for empty homes work.  (As we pointed out in our Consultation Response, it would be possible to use the reward mechanism proposed in the NHB consultation exclusively for empty homes work independently of any new house building).

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