Let Boles be bold

While most of the policy universe was busy speculating on the contents of the Leveson report this morning, new Planning Minister Nick Boles was waxing lyrical to the TCPA conference on the value of beauty. He made a robust call for beautiful homes in well designed places, in line with the tradition of medieval villages, Edinburgh’s New Town, and Letchworth Garden City – and repeated the assertion made on Newsnight the night before that too many new builds are ‘pig … Read more

Back to school: the new political season

September – chillier, windier, busier – is traditionally a time for a refresh. Having had the summer to reflect on how things have gone, our politicians traditionally use the return to Parliament to set out a rejuvenated course for the coming months. Summer 2012 was exceptional in every sense, and the Prime Minister used the moment to really shake up his ministerial teams.

It’s all change for housing policy. Our new team of ministers have been in post for a … Read more

Time to talk legacy?

There’s bound to be some stiff competition to get into Private Eye’s Olympicballs column this week – but let’s give it a go….

It’s still unfashionable to be sceptical about the likelihood of a legacy for the games, but let’s not forget that the original vision behind London’s bid for the Olympics was about regenerating a huge swathe of the ex-industrial east end, and providing tonnes of new homes in shiny new neighbourhoods.

So as the celebrations finish and … Read more

Guest blog: Reshuffles, ‘dither’ and nimbyism

New ministers and a fresh new package of announcements – it’s been an exciting couple of days in the housing world, although I was saddened to see that the PM and DPM didn’t don hard hats and high-vis vests this morning, as is customary when announcing anything to do with house building…

Here, our guest blogger Ben Marshall of Ipsos MORI takes a closer at the politics and public opinions behind the recent announcements, and asks whether the culture of … Read more

What homes where?

Getting homes built is a tricky business. The new National Planning Policy Framework encourages local based planning (rather than top down regional spatial strategies) and more local community engagement on plans and holding councils to account. A big concern is how to deal with local opposition to any new development plans. That’s a lot for local councils to take on at a time of severe cuts to their budgets, along with imminent decisions on who gets affordable housing and for … Read more

Guest blog: Ipsos MORI and RIBA report - It’s not all about quantity
Guest blog: Ipsos MORI and RIBA report - It’s not all about quantity

Long before working at Shelter, I had a bugbear about balconies. Yep, balconies. In my first few flats there was no little patch to grow plants, hang the washing up or just sit in the sun with a drink. That may sound petty, but whenever I see a new block of flats going up with measly little windows and no access to outside space, I want to scream.

Ben Marshall is Research Director at Ipsos MORI.

We can all think … Read more

New ideas to fix London's housing

Much celebration here at Shelter HQ, as both Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson have now backed our Mayoral election campaign and pledged to create Homes for London.

As the race enters its last week it is clearly a Ken-Boris contest, so it’s easy to ignore the other candidates, which is a shame, as they have done a lot to finally get housing onto the agenda. Both the Greens’ Jenny Jones and the Lib Dems’ Brian Paddick have backed Homes … Read more

Big houses and baby boomers

Baby boomers have had a bit of an image problem lately. The ‘boomer’ generation born in the post-war period is (by and large) prospering after a prolonged period of economic growth (data geeks might want to refer to this (£) fascinating graph by the FT).

Younger generations, meanwhile, are increasingly fed up: fewer good jobs and pensions, and an unaffordable housing market that holds them back.*

It’s almost universally acknowledged that soaring house prices played a major role … Read more

Finding a place to call home

One evening last week, a few of us from the Policy and Campaigns division made a little expedition to RIBA’s ‘A place to call home’ exhibition.

It was refreshing to get out the office and away from the coalface of the housing crisis that occupies most of our time and thinking. The exhibition focused on the wider social and emotional history of homes in Britain – why home is so important, what people want to make a good home, how … Read more

Will the NPPF deliver on affordable housing?

Today the Government finally published the detail of its new National Planning Policy Framework. It is a welcome recognition by the government that we need more homes, and building more homes is good for the economy.

During the messy row over the draft version, Shelter called for the framework to bring about the delivery of homes in the right places, of the right type and at the right price to alleviate housing need. So will it deliver genuinely affordable … Read more

Learn to love planning

No-one likes planners. Developers think of them as meddling bureaucrats at best, and Stalinist naysayers at worst. Some people resent them for being a barrier to economic growth. A minority hate planners for not allowing enough homes to be built – while simultaneously a majority seem to hate them for allowing homes to be built. Astonishingly, at the peak of the housing bubble in 2007, one in four households opposed a planning application that year. It seems we really … Read more