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RIBA: Autumn Statement a ‘missed opportunity’ to fix housing crisis

The RIBA has hit out at Chancellor George Osborne for failing to tackle the housing crisis and boost construction

In a statement, the RIBA welcomed Osborne’s £5 billion capital projects boost for homes, schools and infrastructure but said the government was still ‘not doing enough’ to solve the housing crisis.

RIBA president Angela Brady said the government’s commitment to build 120,000 new homes fell ‘significantly short’ of the 300,000 new homes needed to complete each year to fix the UK housing shortage.

She said: ‘A healthy construction industry is vital if the UK is to recover from the economic decline of the past few years. We do not believe the Autumn Statement goes far enough to tackle this housing crisis. The commitment to fund 120,000 is welcome but significantly short of the mark; we need to be building 300,000 new homes a year to meet current demands and solve the housing shortage.

She added: ‘Design quality is vital for creating long lasting sustainable homes and communities and offering real long-term value to the taxpayer. The Government must ensure that the promised investment in housing and schools is spent on well-designed buildings where people want to live and where children are inspired to learn.’

The RIBA’s Future Homes Commission’s report ‘Building the Homes and Communities Britain Need’, published in October this year offered, called for:

  • a three-fold increase in the number of new homes being built every year (from the current 100,000 to over 300,000) on brownfield land and land close to virtually every city, and provide
  • a greater focus on design in all new homes, ensuring they meet current residents’ needs, making them fit for future generations, and thus attractive to UK and international institutional investors so that Local Authority pension funds can recycle their investment once a community has been established; and
  • a more consumer-oriented housing market, with reliable, comprehensive information available to people when making the most important financial decisions of their lives.

 

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