Commission calls for radical change in housing market

| October 26, 2012
Future Homes Commission calls for radical change in housing market

A new study by the Future Homes Commission suggests that the way homes are built in the UK is dysfunctional and needs a radical overhaul.

The organisation, which was established by the Royal Institute of British Architects, believes that 300,000 extra homes could be built every year without any input from Government funding.

Instead, the investment could come from council pension funds, it suggests.

In its ‘Building the Homes and Communities Britain Needs’ report, the organisation says that changing the way housing development is funded, built and marketed, could boost the economy, reduce the housing shortage and create thousands of jobs.

It is calling for the number of new homes being built every year to be increased from 100,000 to over 300,000 on brownfield land.

The building programme could be launched through a new independently managed £10 billion Local Housing Development Fund, the organisation suggests.

This would be financed by Local Authority pension funds, who would pool 15 per cent of their assets to invest in rental and shared-ownership housing.

Sir John Banham, the Chair of the Future Homes Commission, said: “We strongly believe that local government can become the leader of new development once again, by using their assets and powers to create the type of mature, sustainable, mixed tenure communities that Britain needs and that institutional and international investors want to invest in.

“After decades on the sidelines, the time is right for local government to show real leadership and realise their potential to shape a positive future for local people by delivering strong, self-financing communities where people want to live and to kick start the demand for better quality housing in the future.”

Housing Minister Mark Prisk has promised to consider the idea.

The latest figures from the Land Registry show that house prices fell in September in England and Wales compared August, but increased by 1.1 per cent compared with September 2011.

A 5.5 per cent increase in property prices in London was largely responsible for the overall annual increase, the Land Registry said.

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