The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has warned of a looming economic crisis if UK house building continues to flounder.
As a response to this, RIBA has launched a new 20-point plan in a report called ‘Housing Matters: #20ways To Tackle the Housing Crisis’. Inside the report, the RIBA suggests that the house building market should be opened up by the government, that secret viability reports should be banned outright and that a new position should be created for a chief built environment adviser.
In addition, the institute suggests that design review should be embedded within the planning phase, as well as suggestions that stamp duty should be scrapped for those who are downsizing and providing more means for councils to borrow money for the construction of social housing.
The report states:
The competitiveness of the UK economy will be hampered unless we do more to tackle the major infrastructure challenges we face. With a housing crisis and growing concerns around energy, telecoms, road, rail and airport capacity – decisions need to be taken as a matter of urgency.
The RIBA report also suggests that there should be better use of public resources in the area of house building, more localised power, a greater focus on design, a more transparent housing market and much more financial support for the development of new types of housing projects.
Alex Ely of Mae, a member of the RIBA, said:
'Demand for new homes continues to outstrip supply and successive governments have failed to keep up. In particular, there is a huge shortage of genuinely affordable new homes to buy or rent in many parts of the country.'
Mr Ely went on to add:
'Housing policy alone won’t be enough to solve a housing crisis with roots that are as complex as they are varied. The only solution lies in bringing together the public and private sector to promote, enable and finance new homes, and improve the quality of the homes we already have and are already building.'
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