L&G: ‘Levelling up’ must be supported by affordable housing

Jake Carter

April 19, 2021

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The Legal & General Rebuilding Britain Index (RBI) has revealed that the provision of jobs and good quality affordable housing will define the UK’s progress in ‘building back better’.

The RBI was established to measure the UK’s progress on a quarterly basis, following government commitments to ‘level up’ the economy; it found that measures to support recovery cannot be uniform or linear, with different nations, regions and communities needing to level up in different ways.

The index tracks social and economic progress across the country, using a combination of statistical data and community opinion across 51 measures, including health and social care, education, housing, jobs and economic prosperity, environment, energy, transport and digital.

Legal & General has committed to surveying 20,000 people over the course of 2021 to identify the extent to which these areas are driving a recovery across regions and local areas.

For London and the South of England, housing – and affordable housing in particular – is the critical type of infrastructure requiring investment, as the capital achieved the lowest housing score (51/100).

The Mayor of London’s official assessment of housing need in London found that the city now requires around 66,000 new homes a year to provide enough homes for current and future Londoners, two-thirds of which need to be affordable.

Nigel Wilson, chief executive at Legal & General, said: “Levelling up and building back better are, rightly, key government priorities.

“Our new Rebuilding Britain Index shows that investment priorities differ by area – but that job creation and affordable housing are the centrepiece to improving quality of life.

“Through our Inclusive Capitalism strategy, we have invested over £29bn in partnership with the public and private sector to deliver tangible regeneration which delivers more affordable housing, creates jobs and supports regional economic growth.

“As the idea of a K-shaped recovery becomes a reality, and inequality widens across the UK, developing local investment strategies to meet local priorities has never been more important.

“Towns and cities should be in the driving seat of their own recovery and it’s up to businesses like ours to provide the investment needed to realise these ambitions. ”

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