330,000 new homes needed to meet housing demandCouncil pension pots could fund new housing

31 October 2012

Unless 300,000-330,000 new homes are built every year, the UK will fail to deal with a backlog of two million few homes according to a report from the Future Homes Commission.

The Future Homes Commission was set up by the Royal Institute of British Architects to investigate whether newly built homes are meeting consumer needs. It suggest that the number of homes built in the UK be tripled from 100,000 a year and the quality of homes being built should be improved too.

£10 billion housing fund could be created

The report says that Britain needs a ‘housing revolution’ in order to meet the demand for new homes with recommendations including investing council pension funds in new housing and increasing the number of shared ownership developments.

The commission proposes pooling the largest local authority pension funds to create a £10 billion Local Housing Development Fund. This approach would avoid the need for housing projects to be funded by already constrained government finance.

Homes should meet consumer needs

The report also stresses the importance of housing that is fit for the needs of modern consumers and the commission wants the government to set minimum standards for space, storage, noise insulation and natural light.

As well as encouraging housing developers to create homes that ‘reflect the growing need for flexibility and adaptability’ and provide better information about new homes. This information would consist of to-scale floor plans including basic full-size furniture, factsheets about the cost of a new-build versus an older home and details about different types of tenures such as shared ownership and buy now pay later.

Commission chairman Sir John Banham said: ‘After a year-long national inquiry, the Future Homes Commission has concluded a housing revolution is entirely possible and will lead economic growth.

‘We strongly believe that local government can become the leader of new development once again, by using their assets and powers to create the type of mature, sustainable, mixed tenure communities that Britain needs and that institutional and international investors want to invest in.’

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