Thursday, 28 May 2015

The Affordable Housing Crisis @ Radio 4

How exactly do developers deliver on affordable housing?

The recent short-listing of a community-led housing project has highlighted what can be done:
Futures Forum: Toxteth and Turner: "It has taken the Turner prize to highlight that there is an alternative to replacing low-income housing with expensive flats."

It's often a question of how close developers are to the ground:
Futures Forum: "A crisis of imagination” when approaching "the horny question of development in the future" >>> "the higher we go in the organisations that should be responding there is less and less creativity, less and less imagination."

And it's also a question of how much of a 'contribution' developers are expected to give:
Futures Forum: When is a development 'viable' or not?
Futures Forum: 106 payments and the NPPF ... “The definition of ‘sustainable’ has nothing to do with green issues or energy at all ... It means one thing: commercially viable.”

However, it could be argued that developers can only deliver on affordable housing if they are given the space to do it in:
Futures Forum: Adam Smith and rationing housing supply

Earlier this week, Radio 4 looked at the protracted question:

BBC Radio 4

The UK has a serious shortage of affordable homes. Lesley Curwen asks whether the current system - where councils do deals with developers to provide cheaper homes - is working.

Lesley examines three case studies - the huge redevelopment schemes at Earl's Court and on the Greenwich Peninsula, as well as a development in rural Suffolk. She asks whether developers are being allowed to duck their obligations to provide affordable homes as a condition of planning permission. Are councils too under-resourced and under-skilled to negotiate with large development companies?

And what of the commuted sum - where developers pay a fee in lieu of providing affordable housing? How is that working?

Lesley hears from New York where the new mayor has instituted a system that spells out what the city needs and wants, cutting the necessity for protracted negotiation.

BBC Radio 4 - The Affordable Housing Crisis

See also:
Why De Blasio's 'affordable housing' proposal won over developers | Capital New York

Mayor de Blasio’s Plan Aims to Spur More Affordable Housing in New York - NYTimes.com
NYC affordable housing plan: De Blasio’s efforts are ambitious and laudable. They’re also inadequate. slate.com.
De Blasio’s Doomed Housing Plan | JacobinA Promise He Can’t Deliver | Jacobin
What can London learn from NYC mayor Bill de Blasio's housing policies? | CityMetric

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