For decades local councils were the source of affordable homes, building and maintaining stocks of council houses on behalf of the communities they served. They provided safe, affordable and good quality housing for generations of people. Kerry Pollard believes this should be made possible again.
Kerry says “I was brought up in a council house myself. My family moved from a private rented home that had only two of the three bedrooms that could be used due to a leaking roof, it had no garden and outside facilities. Moving to a modern council-built home felt like a ‘luxury’.”
But, for too long, councils have been restricted in their borrowing and unable to help meet the basic accommodation needs of their citizens. The cap should be lifted to allow prudent borrowing. Many of the remaining council houses have been paid for years ago and councils should be allowed to re-mortgage them to re-invest in building new homes. This is a tried and tested method of raising funds for investment that worked for decades.
In addition, the UK is one of only a handful of countries that count borrowing for council building as part of the Public Sector Borrowing Requirement. None of our European partners count it against their national debts, and neither should we.
Take the unnecessary bureaucratic shackles off our councils and let them build the houses the country needs. It would be an investment in our future and provides homes for those who need them today.