Architects call for council housing revolution

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has called for a ‘revival of public sector led housebuilding’ to help solve lack of affordable homes in this country.

In a new report, RIBA called for urgent investment in social housing, which it claimed would also generate a huge jobs boost across the country.

With 1.15 million households on social housing waiting lists across England, the charity Crisis recently calculated that the Government needs to build 90,000 new homes per year to meet demand.

RIBA argues that delivering these homes would not only tackle the housing crisis, it would also create over a quarter of a million new jobs each year.

In particular, the report calls on the Treasury to remove borrowing and spending restrictions on local authorities and provides grant funding for new social housing to help lower long-term housing support costs.

It also urges the Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government (MHCLG) to provide local authorities with the freedom to set their own planning fees to ensure they can adequately invest in resourcing to cover development management responsibilities.

‘The UK has some of the worst housing in Europe,’ said RIBA president, Alan Jones.

‘Too many people find themselves living in sub-standard, unhealthy housing that fails to meet their needs. There are over one million households on the waiting list for social housing in England alone, with many of these are currently living in poorly maintained, short-term and expensive privately rented homes. This is a stark illustration of the scale of our housing crisis.

‘We urgently need a radical new approach to council housing that will deliver safe, low carbon, healthy homes and spaces around them. Housing that creates identity, pride and belonging, and helps to drive the recovery from the economic impact of Covid-19 by creating new jobs and boosting our economy. With wide-ranging reforms to the planning system on the agenda, it is vital that government addresses the factors that have contributed to the failing system.

‘If the government is serious about “Building Back Better” it needs to back local authorities to invest in their communities and build homes fit for the future,’ he added.

Photo Credit – Free-Photos (Pixabay)

Jamie Hailstone

Journalist  

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