Section: Housing Provision

Research finds that 90% of MPs support converting empty spaces above shops to provide housing

Posted 13.12.17
Federation of Master Builders (FMB): Article link

More than 90% of MPs think that converting empty spaces above shops could help reverse the current housing shortage, according to new research by the FMB.

The survey results, which have been published alongside a new research report by the FMB entitled Homes on our high streets, shows that MPs believe converting empty spaces above shops could have a number of positive consequences, including:

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of the FMB said: "It is estimated that as many as 300,000 to 400,000 new homes could be created by making use of empty spaces above shops on our high streets."

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Local authorities engaging in the provision of housing in a wide variety of ways

Posted 05.12.17
Royal Town Planning Institute: Article link

A study, commissioned by the National Planning Forum and the Royal Town Planning Institute, has found that local authorities are engaging in the provision of housing through a wide variety of mechanisms and means.

The Local Authority Direct Provision of Housing is a comprehensive investigation into the current level of local authority housebuilding.

Barriers identified are shortage of land and limits on local authority debt caps. The latter has been key to developing initiatives to provide new housing via means other than the usual Housing Revenue Account route.

A recent survey of local authorities 2017 found that 65% of authorities reported being directly engaged in housing delivery themselves. This includes house building through housing companies and those still building using the Housing Revenue Account.

It has also emerged that local authorities are using a wider range of means to provide housing - e.g. building directly under the general fund, joint ventures with developers, providing land for housing and giving loans to others to build housing.

When considering all of these together, the report notes that there are only 32 local authorities, 9% of the total in England, where there is no housing activity in any category at all.

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Updated 08.12.17

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