The need for affordable rented homes in Leeds
There are fewer than 75,000 council and housing association homes in Leeds now, compared to over 100,000 twenty years ago
In the last three years, 6000 council homes were lost under Right to Buy and only 360 new homes were built by housing associations
Meanwhile over 31,000 are waiting for a council or housing association home. Each month, 6,000 people “bid” for only 500 empty properties. Homes in the most popular areas can attract up to 500 “bids” or expressions of interest.
By 2016 there may be only 5000 social rented homes available to let in Leeds
All parties agree that more affordable homes are needed in Leeds but most decision-makers want more homes for sale. Leeds Tenants Federation believes we need more affordable homes to rent – that is more housing association homes and where possible more council homes.
The shortage of affordable rented homes means that tenants are trapped in unsuitable and often overcrowded homes. People who wish to rent are excluded from areas of Leeds where there is almost no supply of affordable rented homes.
Leeds Tenants Federation believes that renting from a social landlord offers a high quality, secure and affordable alternative to owning your own home. We believe that social housing is a positive choice and should be championed in housing strategies for Leeds.
We actively support the development of affordable rented housing in Leeds. We aim to champion the need for more affordable rented homes in the major regeneration plans of Leeds and in new developments. Leeds Tenants Federation will
- Champion the right of tenants to choose were they live and not just accept they can’t afford to live in certain areas.
- Challenge the view of tenants as second class citizens
- Canvas the views of elected members on the lack of social affordable housing.
- Launch a mobile campaign to speak to people on the problems and target the excluded.
- Gain influence in regeneration projects to lobby for more housing for rent.
- Lobby for affordable rented housing through sub-regional, regional and national forums.
In 1981 there were 97,000 council houses in Leeds, and 4,500 housing association homes, making up 101,500 social rented homes. By 2005 we had lost 36,300 council homes through Right to Buy sales or demolition and there were only 74,600 social rented homes in the city. By 2016 it is project that there will be only 50,000 council homes and in total only 65,400 social rented homes. In recent years, less than 200 new social rented homes have been built in Leeds.
The pressure on the remaining social rented stock is acute.
- Empty council homes have reduced from 2,500 in 1995 to 1,190 now
- Social housing lettings has reduced from 9,700 in 1995 to 7,600 now
- Council lettings reduced from 8,400 in 1995 to 5,200 last year
- If current trends continue there will only be 5,000 social housing lettings and 3,800 council lettings available by 2016
Policy & Campaigns In Depth