Are our new homes fit for the way we live today? What are the barriers to delivering better-quality housing? How can the government better support high-quality housing?
The Future Homes Commission, chaired by British business leader Sir John Banham, is conducting a major national inquiry into the quality and delivery of newly built housing, and has today announced a call for evidence, asking the public, the housebuilding industry, architects, academia and policy makers to submit their views on the future of housing in Britain.
The independent Commission will engage with the public and experts from across the housing sector as part of a major consultation, aimed at gaining an in-depth understanding of the challenges affecting the delivery of housing and identifying innovation in order to shape its blueprint for the future. Alongside the Call for Evidence and conversations with the housing industry, the Commission will be visiting people in their front rooms, town centres and online to build a truly comprehensive picture about what people want and need from their homes and how the market can deliver this.
The Future Homes Commission was instigated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) as part of its HomeWise campaign, which aims to improve the quality of the nation's new-build housing.
In reaching its recommendations the Future Homes Commission will report back to the government, the housebuilding industry and the RIBA in autumn 2012.
Sir John Banham, Chair of the Future Homes Commission, said:
'We want to hear from all of those with a stake in the housing sector in order to gain a deep understanding of the barriers to development, the challenges in the design process and the impact of economic pressures on the housing products that are delivered. We're embarking on a demanding and challenging exercise to understand what makes a quality home today, and how it can be designed and delivered to ensure a sustainable housing stock for the future.
Crucially, we won't just be analysing the problems of the past. We want to look to the future, draw lessons from some of the excellent and innovative schemes that have been delivered, from the developers that are doing things differently and look to find solutions that will ensure that more new homes are delivered, to the right quality and at the right price for the British consumer.'
The Future Homes Commission has called for evidence on the following areas:
Internal design – how housing design impacts on the lives of the household, and what are the barriers to improving quality and driving innovation in internal design, focusing specifically on accessibility, energy performance, security, space and storage.
Designing local communities – which amenities, facilities and infrastructure are needed to ensure economically and environmentally sustainable neighbourhoods that have a positive impact on wellbeing, public and mental health.
Housing marketplace – what the priorities are for consumers when choosing a home are, how is the housing market segmented, the role for consumers and how the market might influence the design of new homes.
Finance and affordability – is there potential for new models of delivery and investment within the housing market, what are the barriers in terms of viability to delivering more high quality homes, within the context of the current planning system and investment markets.
See the Future Homes Commission's questions and submit your evidence.