Monday, 20 October 2014

Identifying housing 'need'

How do you measure housing 'need'?
Futures Forum: Housing: "it would be impossible to build to meet demand because there is a never-ending queue of people who want to move to Devon."
Futures Forum: “Policy makers should not use a perceived shortage in the supply of housing as a smoke screen.” [see list of links]
Futures Forum: Housing crisis - what housing crisis? ... "Evidence for a UK housing shortage is hard to come by."
Futures Forum: "More people want more homes"
Futures Forum: "More people want more homes" ... or maybe not ... "The idea that people can now choose better where new housing goes is just complete nonsense."
Futures Forum: "Build half a million more homes" ... but to what extent are really 'innovative schemes' being sought and introduced by local authorities to provide affordable housing?

Not a single 'affordable home' has been built in Oxford for over a year:
Oxford ‘struck by housing shortfalls, top prices and rising rents’ | Money | The Guardian

In fact, people have taken the situation into their own hands 
- not only in Oxford
Campaigners occupy university building to highlight Oxford's housing crisis (From The Oxford Times)

... but also under the media spotlight in London:
Why Mothers Have Occupied a London Public Housing Complex - CityLab
Newham protestors agree to leave occupied flats | News | Inside Housing
Regenerating Southwark: urban renewal prompts social cleansing fears | Society | The Guardian
LocalismWatch Resources - 20 October 2014 | openDemocracy
Opinion: Let’s keep social housing in London

The company which took over Davis Langdon, the consultancy giving support for the Knowle relocation project, has just produced the figure of '2.5 million new homes needed' for London:

London's housing needs woefully underestimated, says Aecom

One million more homes than thought needed for London and south-east
A report by Aecom has said that 2.5 million homes are needed to be built in London and the south-east if the region is to cope with future growth projections.
The multi-disciplinary firm, which, according to last year’s WA Top 100 published by BD, is the world’s second biggest architect, said local authorities across the region have underestimated the need for extra homes by one million.
It looked at the plans of 127 local authorities within a 60 mile radius of central London and said that 2.5 million homes – rather than the 1.5 million currently projected – were needed by 2036.
Aecom studied each of the capital’s boroughs Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments which it said had identified sites for 685,000 homes in the period. But the firm said this was 423,000 fewer than is required.
Aecom’s managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Andrew Jones, said the housing shortage was not just a London problem but affected the whole of the south-east.
“Limiting the conversation about the housing shortage to the [London borough] borders ignores the 700,000 people commuting into the city every day and the acknowledgment that London is the number one economic driver for the entire south-east. To properly manage London’s future growth, we must start looking at London as a metropolis of 20 million people that is economically, socially and culturally connected to the capital.”
He said that the equivalent of one new Milton Keynes needed to be built in the region every year to cope with a population that is expected to reach 24 million for the whole of London and the south-east by 2036.
Jones added that homes needed to be built around transport hubs and that in the future the suburbs will drive “quality living”.
He said: “Throughout the region, we need to make the most of existing and future transport connections through intensified development around tube and rail stations, to create revitalised centres with homes, workplaces and community amenities fit for the city’s future demographic and economy. With a focus on the quality of place and local identity, the suburbs will be new engines of innovation and quality living.”
Aecom said that the region’s population could be close to 30 million by 2065 making the capital one of a handful of global mega-cities.

London's housing needs woefully underestimated, says Aecom | News | Building Design

Politicians are vying with each other over how many houses they will build:
Futures Forum: Housing after the election: 100,000 new homes at 80% price... or "huge slabs of identikit housing development"

There is clearly a 'need' - but for housing that people can afford to live in:

Next government 'must fix housing market' as parents fear children are being priced out of homes

By WMNAGreenwood | Posted: September 20, 2014

Parents in the Westcountry fear their children will be “locked out” of their home towns by a combination of spiralling house prices and hikes in rent.

A poll for the National Housing Federation found 72% of parents in England were worried about rising rent levels and 81% about rising house prices and the impact of both on the next generation. In the Westcountry more than a third (39%) said it was unlikely their youngsters will have the chance to rent or buy a home in the area where they have grown up.

The results of the poll were published following a series of reports on surging house prices. The Land Registry, regarded as the most accurate guide by industry professionals, put the annual increase across the six-county South West stood at 5.9%, making the average property in the region worth £184,049. Government figures also showed that the cost of renting privately in the region had risen almost 6% in the last two years, with the average monthly rent now hitting £684. In the South Hams, rents rose 9.5% between 2011 and 2013 to £695. In West Devon average monthly private rents reached £630 last year, up 9.3% from £576 in 2011.

The YouGov poll, of almost 1,500 parents, also revealed that more than two thirds of parents (69%) fear children won’t be able to afford a home in future without their financial support.

Jenny Allen, from the National Housing Federation in the South West, said: “Parents should look forward to a bright and prosperous future for their children but are worried that they will end up being worse off than them. Are we really OK with the idea of some of our towns and cities being priced beyond the pay packets of young people? How will our communities survive if young people can’t afford to live there? This is the situation we’re facing if we don’t tackle the housing crisis. It’s taken a generation to create this broken housing market and will take us a generation to get out of it. We’re calling on all political parties to commit to end the housing crisis within a generation to ensure the situation doesn’t continue to worsen leaving our children to deal with the consequences. We want the next government to publish a long-term plan within a year of taking office that sets out how they will achieve this.”

The poll strikes at the heart of the housing problem that has dogged Westcountry communities for years and seen councils struggle to balance sufficient development, including affordable homes, with protecting the environment.

Councillor Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for environment, heritage and planning, said the authority was trying to combat the issues. “For a rural local authority, we are top of the pile as far as delivering affordable homes goes,” she said. “Our track record goes before us. The merging Local Plan also set some really ambitious targets for affordable homes and in some areas we will be looking for that to be 50% depending where the development is. In St Ives, for example, we would expect any development to have 50% affordable homes, of which up to 70% could be for the rental market.”

Coun Hannaford said the authority was acutely aware of the need to protect “mixed” communities, particularly those in popular coastal towns and village where second home ownership was high. “We need vibrant communities,” she added. “We mustn’t allow places to become retirement villages. We want people to live and work in our coastal communities because that also supports services like retained firefighters and coastguard.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) believes targets for tens of thousands of new homes across Devon and Cornwall are far too high. It supports “housing where there is a genuine requirement” and says there is a “critical requirement for affordable housing”.

But a spokesman for CPRE Devon stressed that affordable homes needed to be priced realistically with average gross wages in the region of around £25,000. “We need genuinely affordable homes in the right place and at the right price,” he said. “That needs very careful and considerate planning. That should be through neighbourhood and town plans where local people can discuss local need, not figures based on theory. It is about neighbourhoods and parishes being responsible for themselves rather than top down targets.”

Next government 'must fix housing market' as parents fear children are being priced out of homes | Western Morning News

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