The future of housing
The LGA has launched a Housing Commission to explore new ways in which councils can enable the building of more homes
Cllr Peter Box CBE
Councils built nine times more homes between 2010 and 2015 than between 2000 and 2005, and are desperate to dramatically increase the availability of new homes in their local areas.
This is vital to building the 230,000 new homes the country needs each year, as private developers have not buolt more than 150,000 a year for more than three decades.
The LGA’s recently announced Housing Commission will set out a forward-looking vision for the future of housing, and explore new routes to housebuilding so councils can enable the creation of more desperately needed homes.
It will also explore the importance of effective housing in boosting jobs and growth, helping meet the needs of an ageing population, saving social care and the NHS money, and helping people into work.
It will focus on four themes:
- House building – new ways that councils can enable investment in new homes;
- Place making, community and infrastructure – the role of councils in shaping homes within prosperous places and communities;
- Employment, welfare reform and social mobility – the role of housing in supporting tenants to find work; and
- Health and quality of life for an ageing population – the role of housing in adapting to an ageing poplulation and preventing onward costs onto social care and health services
We are looking for evidence on the key issues for communities, partners and councils, on good practice that has successfully addressed those issues, and what is needed to build on those successes.
We want councils, partners, organisations, and individuals to contribute their issues, evidence, and examples of effective housing and ideas to the Commission’s Advisory Panel, made up of examples and academics [see below[.
The Commission will take a medium-term view incorporating current housing reforms but will look beyond them in making the case for councils to be able to deliver the homes our communities and places need.
We’re working with Ministers to ensure housing and planning reforms support council efforts to build more homes, and the Housing Commission will investigate how the Government and councils can help to deliver houses to solve our housing shortage.
Councils must be able to play a lead role in building the homes we desperately need, and building the homes in a way that creates prosperous places and growth, helps people into work, and positively adapts to an ageing population.
This is the best way to meet local and central government ambitions for our communities, to reduce waiting lists and housing benefit, keep rents low, and help more people live long and happy lives.
The Housing Commission is led by Town Hall leaders on the LGA Housing Board supported by an expert Advisory Panel including:
- Catherine Hand, Partner, Trowers and Hamlins
- Chris Wood, Partner, Altair
- Dave Simmonds OBE, Chief Executive, Inclusion
- Professor Jo Richardson, Director of Centre for Comparative Housing Research
- Neil Revely, Chair of ADASS Housing Network
- Sue Adams OBE, Chief Executive of Care and Repair England
- Will Colthorpe, Argent LLP, Chair of British Property Federation Development Committee
All contributions to the work of the Commission are welcome.
If you wish to make a submission.please send no more than 3,000 words to:
before 26 February 2016.
The Commission’s findings will be published in the Spring and presented at the LGA’s Annual Conference in July.
Cllr Peter Box CBE is Chair of LGA’s Environment, Economy, Housing & Transport Board