Calls for the government to do more to address the housing crisis

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Calls for the government to do more to address the housing crisis

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and other industry organisations are calling on the government to do more to address the current housing crisis in the UK.

Following the King’s Speech this week, RIBA president Muyiwa Oki said: “The government’s agenda for the next year should do more to address the housing crisis and climate emergency.

“This is a missed opportunity. The emphasis placed on increasing energy supply, rather than adopting a national retrofit strategy to reduce energy demand, feels misguided.

“And while the Renters (Reform) and Leasehold and Freehold Bills show a desire to rebalance the housing system, they do not go far enough.

“The government must invest in a radical housing strategy – backed by skilled design expertise – to ensure the delivery of high-quality, sustainable homes in places where people want to live.

“With the general election looming, we will continue to work with the government to support the delivery of a better, greener and fairer built environment.”

The call comes as the Home Builders Federation (HBF) publishes a report showing homes in England are less affordable and in worse condition than those in most other developed nations.

Using data collated from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the EU, and the UK government, it finds:

*England’s severe shortage of housing has made it the most difficult place in the developed world to find a home, with the lowest rate of available properties per member of the population of all OECD nations.

*England has the highest proportion of inadequate housing in Europe, with 15 per cent of all existing homes not meeting the Decent Homes Standard and more substandard homes than Hungary, Poland and Lithuania.

*The UK has some of the oldest housing stock in the developed world with only seven per cent of British homes built after 2001, far less than other countries like Spain, with 18.5 per cent, and Portugal, with 16 per cent.

Stewart Basely, executive chairman of the HBF said: “It is widely acknowledged that Britain’s housing is in crisis, but this research shows just how badly we are falling behind our international peers.

“Decades of housing undersupply has produced startling consequences for people up and down the country looking for a decent home.

“Home builders, want to be able to deliver new, high-quality, energy-efficient homes which will help solve our country’s housing crisis, and they expanded investment over the past decade.

“Sadly, developers are still too often hampered by a restrictive planning system, an anti-development mindset and short-term politics trumping the needs of communities

“The country is in dire need of more high quality and energy efficient new homes.

“With an election looming and manifestos being considered, today’s research should act as a wake-up call, demonstrating the urgent need to act now to prevent us falling even further behind.”