Almost two thirds of councils describe their need for affordable housing as 'severe' amid rise in homelessness, according to a new report by the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) and the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE).


The report, ‘Delivering affordable homes in a changing world’, is the fourth in a series of research collaborations between the TCPA and the APSE, looks at the effectiveness of national housing and planning policy from the perspective of UK local authorities, highlighting a growing need for affordable housing.

This year, for the first time in the series, our research looks at the rise in homelessness across the country, finding that councils are seeing a growth in both statutory and 'hidden homeless' across their local authority area.

The report includes case studies, surveys and roundtable discussions with 162 local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales, ultimately making 10 recommendations to government to help address the county's lack of affordable housing.


Key findings

  • 63% of councils describe that their need for affordable housing is ‘severe’ and 35% describe their need as ‘moderate’.
  • 71% of councils in England and 75% in Wales say that levels of statutory homelessness have increased in their local authority area over the past year.
  • 57% of councils in England and 62% in Wales say that rough sleeping has increased in their local authority area over the past year.
  • 43% of councils in England and 62% of councils in Wales say that their levels of ‘hidden homeless’ has increased over the past year.
  • 62% of councils say that their main model of delivering social and affordable housing is through the planning process via s106 agreements.
  • 30% of councils in England say that permitted development is reducing their ability to build affordable homes; 4% said that permitted development has had a positive impact on their ability to build affordable homes and 54% said it has had no impact.