PRESS RELEASE: A Clarion Call from the Housing Forum at its Annual Conference
Published: 01 April 2011 | Author: Colm Quinn
The Housing Forum, the leading housing industry body, today urged the public and private sectors to rise to the Government's challenge of delivering “homes for the future" to local communities.
At its annual national conference the Housing Forum set out its plans to support the industry in this goal with the launch of its report Everyone Needs a Home. At the same time, the organisation highlighted the importance of delivering innovative solutions within the existing stock through enhanced asset management and maintenance.
Everyone Needs a Home combines the findings of four cross-industry working groups, which have identified some of the goals and challenges facing the housing industry today, as development targets, planning and funding decisions are removed from central control. With this report, the Housing Forum aims to help ensure that housing outcomes are successful and aligned to local priorities.
Speaking at the conference, Housing Forum Chairman Barry Munday called for a framework that genuinely reflects the significant economic differences in housing markets across the country.
Mr Munday said; “Reforms need local sensitivity and flexibility to ensure all projects deliver the socio-economic requirements relevant to each local community, be that urban or rural. It means closer relationships with Local Authorities and a more positive attitude to development rather than development control".
“In recent months the Government has set out a number of ambitious measures to help lift the housing sector, from streamlined planning regulations to the First Buy initiative, all against the backdrop of the Decentralisation and Localism Bill. This adds up to a complex context for housing at a time when, due to economic and funding difficulties, the industry is at its most vulnerable. The Housing Forum, with its tradition of working in partnership, is well placed to offer guidance and highlight exemplars"
“We believe that a localist approach can result in more quality homes throughout the UK, but the ability to plan, build and manage all kinds of housing at every affordability level and meet local needs, requires a major step change in the way the housing industry does business."
Shelagh Grant, Chief Executive of the Housing Forum, added: “To help drive innovation in the business of housing, the Housing Forum has developed a series of toolkits and advice for different government and industry sectors and our members. We are here to give support and guidance on policy where possible, as well as being the interface between Government and industry – we will not let the industry „sink or swim‟ as the political and economic landscape
evolves in these most challenging times.”
Everyone Needs a Home is the Housing Forum‟s call for more varied housing solutions for “inbetweeners and the newly retired through a combination of localism, increased land supply and retrofitting at scale”. Key recommendations from the four working groups presented at the conference are as follows:
- “Do-it-yourself Planning and Housing Delivery in a Localist World” sets out recommended amendments to the Localism Bill as well as providing guidance on providing more sustainable developments
- “At the Heart is Housing” examines the direction that new affordable home building is likely to take and calls for a new generation in housing management as the rented sector expands
- “Affordability Later in Life – the true cost of longevity” calls for more varied solutions to the way housing for older people is designed and funded.
- “Routes to Community Scale Retrofit” charts the changes needed to prepare for retrofit at scale as the industry moves towards new repayment methods and technology solutions
|Housing Forum Press Release for National Conference April 2011||43.65 KB|
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