Housing group outlines ‘radical’ plan to tackle homes crisis

by: Christine Toner
  • 30/03/2017
  • 0
A group of property professionals has outlined "radical" plans for addressing the housing crisis.

The Housing Forum has issued a 10-point plan which it says could boost housing supply; including depoliticising the housing industry, creating a single voice and encouraging local authorities to sell land by judging potential buyers against best value factors including the speed of delivery of new homes.

Stephen Teagle, chief executive, partnerships and regeneration at Galliford Try and deputy chairman of The Housing Forum, said: “We have to recognise as an industry that the government’s renewed focus on housing supply presents an opportunity for the sector to push for the kind of change that can make a real difference. The fact that the scale of the problem has been recognised by Whitehall means we now have a unique chance to open up the debate and put forward novel and bold ideas, like the ones within this report, that we genuinely believe can translate into more homes for communities around the country.”

Shelagh Grant, chief executive of the Forum said the proposals were “radical departures from the status quo” but current attempts at solving the crisis have “been tinkering at the edges for too long.”

She added: “We need to lift housing output to levels not seen since the late 1970s. That needs bold actions and brave decisions.”

The group is also calling for the government to revise the planning system so it favours increased supply including Build for Rent and to give local authorities the financial mechanisms to directly commission new housing.

Other suggestions include calls for the government to agree a long-term, large-scale capital investment plan for housing for the next 10 years and the development of a centre of excellence for procurement expertise for use across the sector.

A consultation is currently underway on how to make it easier for Build to Rent developers to offer affordable private rental homes instead of other types of affordable housing. It will close on May 1.

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