The Local Government Association is today launching a Housing Commission to explore new routes to housebuilding so councils can enable the building of more desperately-needed homes.
Councils built nine times more homes between 2010 and 2015 than between 2000 and 2005 and are desperate to dramatically increase the availability of new homes in their local areas.
The LGA said this is vital to building the 230,000 new homes the country needs each year as private developers have not built more than 150,000 homes a year for more than three decades.
The Housing Commission will also explore the importance of effective housing in boosting jobs and growth, helping meeting needs of an ageing population, saving social care and the NHS money, and helping people into work. It will focus on four themes:
- Housebuilding – new ways that councils can enable investment in new homes;
- Place making, community and infrastructure – the role of councils in shaping homes within prosperous places and communities;
- Employment, welfare reform and social mobility – the role of housing in supporting tenants to find and progress in sustained employment;
- Health and quality of life for an ageing population – the role of housing in adapting to an ageing population and preventing onward costs onto social care and health services.
Evidence is sought on the key issues for communities, partners and councils, on good practice that has successfully addressed those issues, and what is needed to build on those successes. Councils, partners, organisations and individuals are invited to contribute their issues, evidence, and examples of effective housing and ideas to the Commission’s Advisory Panel, made up of experts and academics.
The Commission will take a medium-term view incorporating current housing reforms but will look beyond them in making the case for councils to be able to deliver the homes our communities and places need. Findings will be brought together in a report in Spring 2016 and presented at the LGA Annual Conference in June 2016.
Cllr Peter Box, LGA Housing Spokesman, said:
“We’re working with government to ensure housing and planning reforms support council efforts to build more homes and the Housing Commission we are launching today will investigate how the Government and councils can help deliver houses to solve our housing shortage.
“Councils must be able to play a lead role in building the homes we desperately need, and building the homes in a way that create prosperous places and growth, help people into work and positively adapt to an ageing population.
“This is the best way to meet local and central government ambitions for our communities, to reduce waiting lists and housing benefit, keep rents low and help more people live long and happy lives.”