A panel of experts including Alison Brooks, Deyan Sudjic, Simon Jenkins, and Paul Morrell have urged the next government to make the UK’s housing shortage its top priority
‘Housing is the crisis of our time’, said Stirling Prize-winning architect Brooks at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) pre-election breakfast event last week.
‘It has to be top of any agenda’, added New London Architecture’s Peter Murray.
Former government chief construction advisor, Paul Morrell commented: ‘The government needs to put public money into building council housing. We should be embarrassed that we cannot house our population.’
Meanwhile Design Museum director Sudjic attacked the Conservative party’s pledge to make local councils sell off their stock, describing it as ‘pretty ropey policy’ and a ‘step backwards’.
The current failure to build enough homes was put down to problems with the current planning system by columnist Simon Jenkins of The Guardian.
While William Jackson of Cushman and Wakefield, added that how land was released needed to be tackled.
‘There is enough land in London but it is how you release the land which is the issue. We need to make new parts of London – new cities within the city’, he said.
The panel, which also included Farrell’s Max Farrell, WAF’s Jeremy Melvin, Lara Kinneir of the London Festival of Architecture, and Naomi Turner for the all-party parliamentary design and innovation group.
Other issues the panel hoped any new government would tackle included public realm, infrastructure, planning and procurement.
Read more from the event in Paul Finch’s next AJ column
The new government must urgently tackle housing, say expert panel