The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has released a very interesting report, titled Homes for all: Putting council housing at the heart of local recovery. The report sets out how local councils can start building again and a blueprint for how councils can build quality and sustainable homes. The report is a 'radical' new approach to council housing which would create 250,000 jobs and end the housing crisis, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has argued.
The three recommendations put forward by RIBA are as follows:
- The removal of borrowing and spending restrictions by the Treasury. In addition, grant funding for new social housing to help lower long-term housing support costs.
- To reduce the shortages in capacity in local government planning teams, RIBA have suggested that Homes England explores possible solutions to capacity issues.
- The Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government empowering local councils by enabling the council to set their own planning fees. This will ensure local government can adequately invest in resourcing, to cover development management responsibilities such as:
- Council functions in respect of statutory provisions relating to town planning matters;
- Councils having the capacity to respond to site-specific consultations on development control matters; and
- Councils dealing with all matters relating to planning enforcement (non-exhaustive list).
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.