The Housing Forum has produced a ten-point advisory plan for the Government to ensure its 250,000 homes per annum target is met.
The pan-industry group’s report, entitled ‘Future proofing housing supply’, proposes all planning applications with less than 250 homes should be dealt with by the officers, rather than elected officials. It also calls for a greater cross-party political and industry consensus moving forward.
The report includes 10 suggestions that work in conjunction with the proposals set out in the recent Government Housing White Paper which proposed more funding for affordable homes; a planning system focused on creating new homes; a strengthened build-to-rent market; the release of public land and a renewed focus on the skill shortage.
The Housing Forum released to 10 point plan to secure an increased housing supply over the longer-term:
- Take party politics out of housing strategy and delivery by creating cross-party housing groups and removing elected members from decision-making on planning applications below 250 homes.
- Government to appoint a Housing Minister to the Cabinet and directly commission new homes.
- All local authorities must become more pro-active leaders of housing supply.
- Create a single voice for the housing industry.
- Government and industry to implement the Farmer Review’s call for modernisation of housebuilding skills and technology.
- Central and local government to incentivise new entrants to the market.
- Central and local government to revise the planning system so it favours increased supply.
- Government to agree a long-term, large-scale capital investment plan for housing supply.
- Give local authorities the financial mechanisms to directly commission new housing and greater freedom for risk sharing.
- Create a centre of excellence for procurement expertise for use across the sector.
Stephen Teagle, Chief Executive, Partnerships and Regeneration, Galliford Try and Deputy Chairman, The Housing Forum, has commented: “The Government’s focus on supply through a broad range of measures is welcome and will contribute to lifting the supply of new homes we need.
This report takes that ambition a stage further- calling for renewed leadership at a local level, greater investment and a strengthened platform for collaboration to future-proof delivery over the next decade.”
Shelagh Grant, Chief Executive of The Housing Forum added: “If the housing supply is truly to be turned on to full, then still more needs to be done to overcome the challenges that exist in the market and create a benign and sustainable environment for housebuilding. We appreciate that some of our solutions are radical departures from the status quo. But we have been tinkering at the edges for too long.”
The Housing Forum is a cross-sector organisation that represents the interest of the 150 organisations within the housing supply chain.