Architects in Housing, one of the first of the new 'linked societies' to the riba, has been launched with a stinging condemnation from its chairman Bernard Hunt of the riba's wish not to be directly involved.
Hunt, who previously headed the riba's special interest group on housing, described the move - part of a larger riba re-organisation - as 'mind boggling'. 'The extraordinary thing was that the riba should have wanted it done outside. Housing is one third of architects' workload, and represents 40 per cent of housing output. A profession needs to engage with something as big as that.'
But he is confident that the new organisation, set up in just six weeks, will make a significant impact. He describes its aim as 'to radically improve the quality, value and desirability of new homes in the 21st century by unlocking the potential of architects in the housing sector'.
The organisation has set up a web site at www.aih.org.uk. Architects in Housing is now planning to raise £150,000 of funding in its first year, and to spend at least half of this on salaries.