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Lyons Housing Review response

PlaceShapers’ response to the Lyons Housing Review offers solutions to end the political blame game, deliver the homes the country needs and tackle dependency on welfare benefits.

The review was set up by Labour when it announced it would increase the supply of new homes in England above 200,000 a year. It was to "draw up a road map that will set out the changes to housing and planning policies and practice that are required to deliver the new homes and communities we need.”

In response PlaceShapers say: “Our housing market is broken and radical action is needed in response. Decent housing is a basic need and the bedrock for a successful healthy life. Homes are first and foremost for living in; they should not be a way to make an easy financial return. But for as long as the supply of genuinely affordable homes falls short of demand and pricing is allowed to exploit this, there is little hope of addressing the challenges ahead.”

The response highlights solutions around 

• The land market – unlocking land for housing development

• Investment in housing and associated infrastructure

• The role of a new generation of New Towns and Garden Cities

• A new “right to grow”

• Sharing the benefits of development with local communities

In concludes: “Community based housing associations..are key providers..We have the development expertise and local relationships to unlock sites, to negotiate agreement with those who may initially oppose new homes and to ensure the necessary investment in the wider community.

“Despite being key providers, our financial capacity to add to supply is severely constrained by the current market and funding environment. Many of us are already borrowing to our limits and whilst we are exploring and accessing all types of new funding opportunities…the step-change required in supply cannot be achieved without substantial levels of government grant. Only in this way will we (and others) be able to provide new housing at rent levels that are within the reach of those who need it without perpetuating a dependency on welfare benefits. Housing Benefit cannot and should not take the strain any longer.”

The response sets out that PlaceShapers completed over 40,000 new affordable homes between 2008 and 2012 and collectively plan to invest around £5bn to deliver a further 32,000 homes by 2015. A 2013 survey of PlaceShapers revealed that business plans for 2015-20 project at least a further 30,000 more new homes, equivalent to more than 7% growth.

To read the Lyons Housing Review full response click here.

For information on the Lyons Housing Review review click here.

PlaceShaper solutions 

The land market – unlocking land for housing development

Investment in housing and associated infrastructure

The role of a new generation of New Towns and Garden Cities

A new “right to grow”

Sharing the benefits of development with local communities

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