BSRIA has welcomed the Lyons’ Housing Commission report – What more should Government do to promote the building of new homes – which states that for the new Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid and Minister for Housing, Gavin Barwell, “a sustained step change in house building will be critical to the health of the national economy and to improving the quality of life for current and future generations”.
It states that the Government has the opportunity in the forthcoming Housing White Paper and the Industrial Strategy to develop a more comprehensive approach that is capable of driving a sustained increase in the quantity, quality and affordability of new homes being built.
Building on recommendations from its previous report, the report sets out a number of proposals for the Government to consider as part of its White Paper, including:
- Addressing dysfunction in the land market to bring forward a wider range of sites and ensure that sites with planning permission are built out more rapidly.
- Advocating a whole-system solution, focusing on supply-side measures and going beyond the narrow focus on home ownership.
- Growing the capacity of the industry to deliver more homes, recognising the important roles that Housing Associations, Local Authorities and SMEs can play.
- Emphasising quality as a core necessity for sustainable and successful development over the long term.
- Recognising the different needs of different areas, in particular to do more to deliver more homes in the capital, and other areas of the country where growing demand outstrips the homes available.
Julia Evans, Chief Executive, BSRIA, said: “BSRIA welcomes this timely and important review which supports our long running coverage of the housing issue.
But building homes is a matter of quality as well as quantity. The focus on more volume makes quality more important than ever and an added emphasis on the status of quality of homes and places is needed to guarantee that in challenging the housing crisis we are not building the costly slums or soulless estates of tomorrow.
Some of the ‘offsite’ building and zero waste methods that are currently being adopted do signify an exciting movement which can be explored more and offer the potential for changes within the industry.
It should be noted that in the two years since the Lyon’s Housing Commission published its review of housing supply, tackling the housing crisis has risen up the national political agenda and is rooted as a top priority for government.
In essence, economic growth – for both the UK and the industry – is crucial. The confidence to invest in major housebuilding schemes is key to solving housing growth.”
Lyons Housing Commission report - November 2016
The Lyons Housing Commission was established in the autumn of 2013 to advise on how a future Government might bring about a sustainable increase in house building in England to 200,000 homes a year by 2020. Under the chairmanship of Sir Michael Lyons, it was made up of twelve individuals drawn for their understanding and experience of different parts of the UK housing industry.
Members of the Commission continue to discuss the issues involved on an independent footing and contribute solely on a personal basis.
The initial Lyons report The Lyons Housing Review briefing - October 2014 called for greater transparency in the land market, in particular in relation to options agreements to make it easier to assess land availability and the extent to which land is held by those who intend to bring it forward for development.