Thursday 11th January 2024

(6 months, 2 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Penn Portrait Baroness Penn (Con)
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My Lords, a number of the changes that we are making to the NPPF address some of the noble Baroness’s concerns. They are all about allowing a local area, using the evidence of local need, to produce a plan that works for that area. The noble Baroness touched on the Green Book and how we value social housing but also wider social benefits when we look at value for money in government projects. The Government have done work on reforming the Green Book over a number of years to ensure that we better take that into account. There is also better assessment of national well-being as a factor when we look at policies. We are looking, for example, at valuing our green space more clearly in our policy assessments, so that we can take a more well-rounded look. That is at the heart of my department’s mission. When looking at levelling up across the whole of the United Kingdom, one point that often gets made is that the old ways of doing things incentivises you to invest only in London and the south-east. While that is incredibly important, we know that investing in communities across our country is how we will actually deliver for people, and that is what my department has been created to do.

Lord Shipley Portrait Lord Shipley (LD)
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My Lords, the Minister has said that it is not the purpose of this long-term plan for housing to address the need for more homes for social rent. She has also said that the Government are absolutely committed to increasing the supply of affordable and social housing. In the face of the 14% increase in the past year of people in temporary accommodation in our country—a trend which is likely to continue rising—what is the Government’s short to medium-term plan for getting more long-term homes for those being forced to live in temporary accommodation?

Baroness Penn Portrait Baroness Penn (Con)
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As I have previously said to noble Lords, we have over £11 billion for the affordable homes programme, but a number of other measures were announced, most recently in the Autumn Statement. For example, the local housing allowance uplift will help with the affordability of the private rented sector, reducing the chances that people might move into temporary accommodation. We also have the Homelessness Reduction Act, which is matched by funding to try to prevent people moving into temporary accommodation altogether. At the Autumn Statement, we also announced additional money for local authorities to increase the supply and quality of their temporary housing to bring down the costs of putting that provision in place so that we can invest in the longer-term solution, which is more affordable housing available to more people.