RIBA welcomes Housing Standards Review but warns quality must come first

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has welcomed the government's commitment to keep quality design and sustainability at the heart of the Housing Standards Review. The RIBA is committed to working closely with DCLG and other members of the Housing Standards Review group to ensure it is a success.

Commenting on the announcement of the Housing Standards review today by Communities Minister Don Foster, RIBA President Angela Brady said:

'Housing standards can and should be rationalised, to ensure they are made more accessible and easier to use. However, whilst rationalisation is important, is it critical that consumers are protected and that homes are fit for purpose for people, as well as viable for developers. Consumer research has highlighted significant public unease at the poor quality of many of our new homes. Robust, workable standards will be essential if we are to build the high quality, sustainable and future-proofed homes that the government has said its wants to see. The standards developed will have to give Local Authorities the scope to promote high quality design and set ambitious environmental targets.

We welcome the themes identified in the four initial working groups set up by the government but, following extensive consumer research, we will be keen to see that minimum space standards form a core part of this review. The provision of adequate minimum space standards across all tenures will be essential if we are to provide ensure that new homes are, sustainable, fit for purpose and are flexible enough to meet future needs.'


Notes to editors