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Government to consider revising housing supply recommendations

July 31, 2009

The National Housing and Planning Advice Unit, an independent unit which advises Government on future housing need, has released revised figures through to 2031.  Using a modelling approach, and with their own analysis, the Unit suggests the number of houses which will need to be built in the coming years in each region; Government takes this advice into consideration when issuing guidance for the preparation of regional plans.

The revised figures show an average increase of 3%, although this varies from region to region.  The East Midlands has one of the largest increases to the suggested average annual net additions, from 24,600 to 26,800.  It will be interesting to see whether this is reflected in the guidance, and what impact that has on activity – in the first quarter of 2009, only 2,300 new homes were completed.

I attended the NHPAU conference earlier this summer, and a theme running through the day was that, although building new homes is often contentious, more should be done to address the predominantly negative attitudes, and to persuade the general public of the necessity to build.  Kay Boycott from Shelter spoke of the impact that poor housing has on people’s lives, especially the long term effect it can have on children, and she suggested that we need to make it clearer that building new homes is designed to address some of these underlying issues.  As the Chair of the Unit, Professor Stephen Nickell said at the launch of the new guidance:

At our recent annual conference, the Unit stated its view that negative attitudes towards new housing development must change. New homes will be vital in stabilising housing affordability. That remains our view and it is reinforced by the evidence and research contained in this new study.

For the press release, with the summarised numbers, and a link through to the full publication, see the NHPAU website.

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