Royal Town Planning Institute study finds that English Local Authorities have directly created at least 9,000 homes in 2017-2018.
The online study was conducted by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). It found that of the 83 English Councils surveyed, 43% of the total houses were Affordable homes and 23% were social.
It was found that the majority of councils now own a housing or property company. Comprehensively, looking at the whole of England one could project that over 13k new homes were delivered. This is the highest amount since 1990 which saw 14k.
Ian Tant, RTPI President, said:
“Having local authorities back as key players in the housing market is vital to tackling the housing crisis. It’s great news that they are becoming more active again, delivering a wide range of house types to meet a wide range of needs.”
“But the lack of land is still a major issue. The government needs to help councils access land at the right price to develop themselves or sell to earn the income they need. Government should also consider a more direct role in increasing supply and influencing the location of housing.”
Paul Dennett, Salford City Mayor, who helped to launch the report, said:
“We welcome this exciting new research from RTPI which shows how local authorities like our own are delivering new homes to try and meet local needs. We have realised that it is not enough to wait for the market to deliver the homes we need to tackle homelessness, rough-sleeping and the UK’s broken housing market.”
“We’re using the opportunities we have as a city council to deliver more truly affordable housing. Now we need more powers and resources, especially given our infrastructure and post-industrial land challenges to help us develop a new range of targeted interventions.”
Professor Janet Morphet of the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, said:
“More councils than ever are engaging in the direct delivery of housing, motivated by their role in housing provision, homelessness and income generation. Increasingly councils are concerned about the quality of housing being built in their areas. We have heard across the country, from all types of local authority, that councils are no longer relying on or waiting for developments to come through the planning system to provide the housing that they need and are taking action to deliver directly.”
“Councils are also beginning to manage all their work on housing provision. Whether on planning delivery, or through companies, Housing Revenue Account and Joint Ventures through single cross professional teams. Council leadership is now emerging as a critical success factor.”
As the largest planning institute in Europe, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has over 25k members. It is the leading planning body for spatial, sustainable and inclusive planning in the UK
The study does not assess the effect of the removal of the housing borrowing cap on housing delivery. The surveys were undertaken before the policy was announced in October 2018.
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