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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Housing benefit is out of control, but there is an alternative

In the 1970s, 80% of public spending on housing was on building new affordable homes, with just 20% going on cash benefits to help people pay their rent. This was an era when local authorities were building about 100,000 homes a year and social housing was for the majority. More than three decades later, the balance of spending has radically reversed. During the current four-year spending review period, there will be £4.5bn of capital investment in new affordable homes while £95bn will be spent on housing benefit. Of that, more then £30bn will go to private landlords due to the chronic lack of affordable housing.