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Mark Prisk bangs drum for housing design quality

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Housing minister Mark Prisk has hit out at the UK’s ‘dysfunctional housing market’ for failing to consider quality design

Talking at the Ideal Home Show Blue Ribbon Awards, Prisk said: ‘Of late we have been experiencing quite a dysfunctional housing market – we haven’t been building what people need and also we haven’t been thinking about the quality.

‘It is quite tempting as housing minister to focus on the number of units as opposed to number of homes. We need to think about the customer in this.’

Prisk’s remarks came just hours after chancellor George Osborne revealed a raft of measures to boost house building in the 2013 budget.

Policies included a fivefold increase in funding available for new build to rent housing, £225 million to fund 15,000 new affordable homes by 2015 and a £3.5 billion commitment to shared equity loans for first time buyers.

A further £12 billion will be invested in a new ‘Help to Buy’ scheme for existing homeowners seeking to purchase new build or old homes.

Prisk said: ‘Today with the budget we have looked to add investment in to the private rented sector and the affordable housing sector,  but also how we can help people struggling to get the deposits together to buy a new home.’

He added:  ‘The point about “Help-to-Buy” is to make sure that home buyers and not just first time byers are able to look at those properties that they simply can’t afford. It is a much larger scheme and a scheme that should lever in about £130 billion of mortgages in to the housing market. It could have the chance to kick start demand.’

Winners in the eleven Blue Ribbon Awards categories included; Coffey Architects, Linden Homes, Pitman Tozer, Emrys Architects, Urban Splash and MW Architects.

An award also went to The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community for its inaugural Young Designers Competition.

Contest winners Douglas Ardern, Jamie Wallace and Ruaridh Inverarity helped to design this year’s Prince’s House at The Ideal Home Show.

Commenting on the design, Prisk said: ‘There is controversy here, some people feel that the traditional and the contemporary should never meet, but actually if you look at the way the design has been developed inside and out, it shows that you can draw together traditional values and turn them in to a contemporary opportunity.

He added: ‘The arguments about design and affordability should not be in conflict. Good design can be affordable if you start from inception.’

The awards ceremony was hosted by architect and television presented George Clarke who has campaigned for greater re-use of the UK’s empty homes.








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