The odds on ending our housing emergency improved this weekend after the Daily Telegraph revealed that Tony Pidgley, founder and chairman of Berkeley Group, has joined the ranks of the country’s growing coalition for land reform. Speaking to journalist Liam Halligan for the new book Home Truths: The UK’s chronic housing shortage, Pidgley describes a housebuilding system ‘in dire need of reform’, and calls for landowners and developers to be forced to share profits of new housing developments … Read more
It’s obvious that there is no solution to our housing emergency that doesn’t include many more social homes. Homes with secure tenancies and genuinely affordable rents pegged to local incomes, with enough space for children to play and do homework, and for adults to live with dignity. On its own, market housing – that is private housing for rent or sale – simply cannot provide a home for everyone who needs one without compromising standards in unacceptable ways.
100 … Read more
The next Prime Minister must put social housing at the heart of their solution to our housing emergency. The scale of the crisis demands serious ambition to build enough social homes for all who need them. But it’s not just a numbers game. As Shelter’s new Grounds for Change essay collection argues, alongside investment the government must learn from history and take action to reform our broken land laws. Only then will we build the high-quality, well-designed, genuinely affordable homes … Read more
If you were to construct a system to maximise resentment towards new housebuilding, the British land system would probably come close.
For decades, new homes have been encouraged in places that communities are most likely to oppose development, in designs that jar with local styles, without proper consultation with communities, and with insufficient investment in the infrastructure that local people understandably expect alongside housing.
The root causes of undersupply are often thought … Read more
Last week’s Spring Statement didn’t deliver much for housing.
The Chancellor’s announcement that £3 billion worth of government guarantees for loans to build 30,000 ‘affordable’ homes received plenty of positive coverage. But truly affordable social homes can’t be built on borrowing alone.
Government guarantees won’t go very far towards a solution for our housing crisis unless cheaper borrowing is accompanied by serious investment in capital grants for social housing at the next spending review (which we called for at the launch … Read more
One thing that probably won’t feature in today’s post-Budget headlines is the result of the Independent Review of Build Out undertaken by Sir Oliver Letwin.
While the report might not provide headlines, it does deserve recognition because it taps into a singularly vital part of our housing crisis: the cost of land. This means Letwin joins a growing group who recognise that only by bringing land into development at lower values can we unlock better, faster, more affordable development.
This … Read more
Last year, Theresa May used her speech at Conservative Party Conference to announce £2bn of new grant funding – the first money made available for building social homes since 2010.
Two weeks ago, the prime minister used a speech at the National Housing Federation’s annual summit to announce another £2bn of long-term funding for housing associations. At the time, we asked ‘Is Theresa May getting serious about social housing?’, taking stock of the many small actions May’s governments … Read more
Two weeks ago, an unlikely coalition of around 20 organisations including charities, think tanks, and trade bodies came together to sign a joint letter calling on the government to address one of the biggest issues in housing: the urgent need to reform the 1961 Land Compensation Act.
On the face of it this may seem like a pretty dry issue, but as any avid reader of this blog in recent years will know, it is one that sits at the … Read more
What do Shelter, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the National Landlords Association, the New Economics Foundation and centre-right think tank Onward all agree on? Not much, admittedly. The world is round. Homelessness is bad. And we must fix the UK’s broken land laws to get a grip on the housing crisis.
Have you heard about the housing crisis hollowing out the countryside? This week, for once, the answer to that question might just be “yes”. The National Housing Federation’s Rural Housing Week has shone a light on a problem that is poorly understood and rarely discussed with anything like the urgency it deserves.A vicious chain reaction
In many rural communities, the market for housing has become divorced from local people and their incomes. Homes are sold for as much as … Read more
A year ago today we launched New Civic Housebuilding, setting out our vision for reviving England’s tradition of building attractive, affordable homes. With the newly rebranded Ministry of Housing and its agency, Homes England, talking up their role in transforming house building, and the new National Planning Policy Framework due next week, this feels like a good moment to assess progress.The need for public housebuilding
The government commitment to building a lot more homes is an essential first … Read more
These are exciting times for the select-but-growing band of Westminster-watchers interested in the role land value plays in our housing crisis – and in the wider economy.
Just before Christmas, there was the launch of a new All Party Parliamentary Group on Land Value Capture, chaired by Sir Vince Cable. Then the Communities and Local Government (CLG) committee launched an inquiry into the ‘effectiveness of current land value capture methods’. This sort of language may not set pulses … Read more