How to deliver 250,000 new homes every year for 25 years
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Development
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Industry experts have claimed that the UK needs 250,000 new homes each year for the next 25 years to keep up with demand – and have outlined ideas for getting the numbers delivered.
Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) conference in Manchester, Neil McDonald, visiting fellow at the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research, said that the required amount of homes could be built – if the political will exists.
What is needed, he said, is for government to:
- Be convinced that 250,000 are actually needed;
- Understand the serious consequences if such a volume is not delivered;
- Be convinced that such an amount can be built.
However, Mr McDonald said that the sector must also ask itself three questions regarding delivery:
- Can the industry do it?
- What will the impact be on the countryside?
- What can be done about local authority land provision?
Chris Blythe, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Building, who was speaking alongside Mr McDonald, spoke about the barriers facing the delivery of 250,000 new homes a year, particularly around issues of quality and the provision of a future workforce that is capable of making the target realistic.
Also speaking was Eamon McGoldrick, managing director of the National Federation of ALMOs. He said that councils and ALMOs should make better use of existing stocks and that social housing should look at a shared rental offer, akin to what is available in the private sector.
He drew attention to what he sees as the main challenges facing ALMOs and councils’ ability to provide enough housing:
- That council land is finite
- Borrowing is capped at £2.8 billion
- Too many houses being lost to Right to Buy
- The affordable rent model is not for everyone
If the borrowing cap was increased to £7bn, then local authorities could deliver 60,000 units in five years, Mr McGoldrick claimed.