REPORT: Social Housing and the Good Society
Social Housing and the Good Society: Policy Futures Report
This is a the final report for the Webb Memorial Trust by the University of Birmingham’s Housing and Communities Research Group exploring change in social housing in England. The report provides a wide ranging, conceptually informed and financially grounded analysis to identify clear policy futures for social housing consistent with the Webb’s vision of a ‘good society’. We conclude that social housing in England has a viable future, serves a vital need and offers better value than private rental for housing low income groups.
In the report we argue for a ‘positive hybrid’ future in which historic assets and cross-subsidy are mobilised to preserve social value by building new low rent accommodation in mixed communities, rather than to destroy it through displacement and gentrification. Tenants and communities must have greater influence and thereby make social housing harder to undermine in the future. Our recommendations include broadening the focus of social housing to tackle a wider range of needs, a more flexible mix of rent and ownership, socialising the private rental sector and taking community stewardship seriously.
The report has contributed to the Webb Memorial Trust’s wider programme of work on ‘the good society’ and in October 2016 was presented and discussed at a joint meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Poverty and Housing & Planning in collaboration with the Trust.
‘Social Housing and the Good Society’ was written by James Gregory and David Mullins from the University of Birmingham’s Housing and Communities Research Group with finance expert, Peter Redman and Emeritus Professor, Alan Murie.