The Lyons Housing Commission, which was first established in 2013 to advise on how a future government may bring about a sustainable increase of house building in England to 200,000 a year by 2020, has reconvened in response to the present Government's target of creating one million new homes by 2020.
Whilst the Commission has welcomed the ambitious target set by the Government, they note that the burden for this increase cannot be expected to be borne by the volume house building industry alone. The Commission recommends engagement with other interested parties including small and medium sized house builders, the wider construction industry, housing associations, local authorities and investors in private rented accommodation.
In addition the Commission has made five key recommendations to the Government on the actions needed in order to meet the target of one million new homes by 2020. These are:
- Broaden the housing strategy beyond the focus on home ownership to increase supply of both market and affordable homes for rent to secure sustainable growth in housing supply and lasting capacity in the house building supply chain.
- Take a more ambitious approach to direct commissioning to deliver high quality and increase output and capacity through capturing land value to fund infrastructure, attracting a more diverse range of partners into house-building and building a mix of homes for sale and rent.
- Work more closely with the industry in developing the model for starter homes to ensure an overall increase in homes and that the public subsidy of these homes exists in perpetuity to benefit future generations of house buyers and does not result in a reduction of affordable homes to rent.
- Clearly acknowledge the importance of the contribution that local authorities and housing associations have to make to tackling the housing supply crisis; ensure local authorities have the flexibilities and support needed to promote, finance and commission new homes; and give housing associations the certainty they need to plan long term.
- Ensure that government policies place greater emphasis on championing the highest quality of design and environmental standards for new homes and the places in which they are built.
The Lyons Housing Commission Update Report is an interesting development in addressing the need to build more new homes. We watch with interest how the government responds to the report's key recommendations which will impact heavily on the housing sector.
The full Lyons Housing Commission update report can be found here.