England may be on the cusp of a new era of public sector housebuilding. For the first time in decades, councils looking to build new homes have funds available and a favourable political climate.
How this can be achieved is discussed in Homes for all: Putting council housing at the heart of local recovery. This new report from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) examines what councils must do to get building again and do so in a way that raises standards of design, quality and sustainability across the built environment.
The report explores the challenges and opportunities that have faced councils that have already begun building. It then looks at the early successes in this new period of council house building to establish a blueprint for how the public sector can build quality housing at scale.
RIBA recommends that:
- The Treasury removes borrowing and spending restrictions on local authorities and provides grant funding for new social housing to help lower long term housing support costs
- The Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government provides local authorities with the freedom to set their own planning fees to ensure they can adequately invest in resourcing to cover development management responsibilities
- Homes England explore solutions to meeting the capacity shortages within local government planning teams and place greater emphasis on quality design in funding programmes
Read the RIBA’s full report, Homes for all: Putting council housing at the heart of local recovery, below.