Planning for Affordable Housing: Guidance for Councils

This guidance document explains how councils can play a leading role in solving the housing crisis by using their planning powers to secure more social and affordable homes.

Over the last six years 165,000 of England’s social homes have disappeared, either changing over to private ownership, repurposed as ‘affordable rent’ or demolished.

Most new affordable housing in England is created through the planning system, a result of negotiations between developers and councils. Though this poses various challenges—and does not absolve government of its responsibility to invest in social housing—much more affordable housing can be delivered through these means if done with care.

This guidance charts the journey of councils who have successfully delivered more affordable housing through the planning system, highlighting key themes and partnership opportunities available under the current policy context.