By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Your browser seems to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser.

Close

Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Close

Lords back RIBA Future Homes Commission report

Leading peers from the House of Lords have thrown their weight behind RIBA’s Future Homes Commission’s recommendations for tackling the UK’s dearth of housing

In a special lunchtime debate led by Labour peer Baroness Whitaker held on the eve of the Autumn Statement, a number of high-profile Lords asked the government  for a response to the Building the Homes and Communities Britain Need report.

Published in October the report 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, a greater focus on design and a more consumer-oriented housing market.

Baroness Whitiker said the report made a ‘good stab’ at suggesting ways to solve the UK’s ‘dire housing situation… with nearly 2 million households currently on the housing list, well over 50,000 homeless, and more than that in temporary accommodation.’

Fellow Labour peer Lord Whitty accused the government of merely ‘tinkering’ with possible solutions to the housing problem. He warned: ‘They [the government] may be successful, but the long-term problem requires a more long-term solution.’

We need an emphasis on good design as key to ensuring investment lasts

Crossbench peer Lord Best backed the report’s call for good design to be at the heart of reform: ‘We need an emphasis on good design as the key to ensuring all this investment lasts and that new development gains public acceptance,’ he said.

Lord Sawyer agreed: ‘There is poverty of expectation about design and space.

‘No one in the supply chain, whether bankers, building societies, developers or even the Government, talk about it enough or promote it. It is absent,’ added Sawyer.

But Liberal Democrat Lord Maddock claimed the coalition government was facing up to the problem and highlighted the £500 million allocated to the Growing Places Fund, which he said was ‘aimed at kick-starting stalled housing projects’.

He also claimed the government’s Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Act had earmarked £10 billion of investment which he said would ‘go towards helping what we call “shovel-ready” housing projects to get started’.

In a separate development, shadow housing minster in the Lords, Lord Bill McKenzie said he welcomed the report’s emphasis on ‘highlighting the key role of local authorities in helping to create sustainable communities’

‘We share the vision of mixed communities living in well-designed, high quality homes in neighbourhoods with good facilities and where people want to live,’ said McKenzie.

Subscribe to AJ for £3 per week

Subscribe today and receive 47 issues of the magazine, 12 issues of AJ Specification and full access to TheAJ.co.uk and the AJ Buildings Library

Are you a student?

Students can subscribe to the AJ for £8 per month or £1.60 per week! Click here to start receiving the most recommended magazine for architecture students

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Related Jobs

Sign in to see the latest jobs relevant to you!

The searchable digital buildings archive with drawings from more than 1,500 projects

AJ newsletters