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LGA commission to examine housing supply

A Housing Commission has been launched to explore how councils can enable the building of more homes across the country. 

Set up by the Local Government Association (LGA), the Housing Commission will also look into how housing can boost jobs and growth and helping to meet the needs of an ageing population. 

The Commission will take a medium-term view in making the case for councils to be able to deliver the homes communities need. It findings will be brought together in a report in spring next year and presented at the LGA’s Annual Conference. 

Cllr Peter Box, LGA housing spokesman, said: “We’re working with government to ensure housing and planning reforms support council efforts to build more homes and the Housing Commission we are launching today will investigate how the government and councils can help deliver houses to solve our housing shortage.” 

The LGA, which represents 372 councils in England and Wales, noted that Councils built nine times more homes between 2010 and 2015 than between 2000 and 2005, but there is a desperate need to dramatically increase the availability of new homes in their local areas. 

The Commission will focus on four key themes:

  • Housebuilding – new ways that councils can enable investment in new homes;
  • Place making, community and infrastructure – the role of councils in shaping homes within prosperous places and communities;
  • Employment, welfare reform and social mobility – the role of housing in supporting tenants to find and progress in sustained employment;
  • Health and quality of life for an ageing population – the role of housing in adapting to an ageing population and preventing onward costs onto social care and health services. 

Evidence is sought on the key issues for communities, partners and councils, on good practice that has successfully addressed those issues, and what is needed to build on those successes. 

The Housing Commission is led by town hall leaders on the LGA Housing Board supported by an expert Advisory Panel, including: 

  • Catherine Hand, Partner, Trowers and Hamlins
  • Chris Wood, Partner, Altair
  • Dave Simmonds OBE, Chief Executive, Inclusion
  • Professor Jo Richardson, De Montfort University, Director, Centre for Comparative Housing Research
  • Neil Revely, Chair of ADASS Housing Network
  • Sue Adams OBE, Chief Executive of Care and Repair England
  • Will Colthorpe, Argent LLP, Chair of British Property Federation Development Committee 

Last year, a national review – led by Natalie Elphicke, chair of Million Homes, Million Lives, and Cllr Keith House, leader of Eastleigh Borough Council – concluded that councils will be central to delivering a successful step-change in housebuilding across England

The review found five ways councils can become housing delivery enablers: community leadership and strategic clarity; creating housing opportunity; business leadership; management of housing supply; and shaping a stronger housing finance market. 

It was also announced earlier this year that a new Housing Finance Institute, which had been proposed by the Elphicke-House review, will address the skills and knowledge gap in delivering local authority housing. 

Submissions can be emailed to the LGA Housing Commission, but must be of no more than 3,000 words. The deadline for contributions is 26 February 2016. Please send submissions to: [email protected].


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