Anger as councils ‘robbed’ to fund social housing

Hundreds of building projects will be cut to fund the government’s £1.5 billion social housing programme. Furious council leaders have demanded an urgent meeting with ministers after being told that their plans are in jeopardy because there is no new money to pay for the policy, which was announced ten days ago. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that £1.5 billion would be found across Whitehall to fund up to 20,000 new homes for those on low incomes and on council house waiting lists. But the Department for Communities and Local Government, which was forced to find nearly £600 million, has said that the money will have to be taken from existing housing programmes as well as from plans to refurbish council and private rented homes.