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Labour's housing policy review – your chance to contribute

The recently launched Labour Party review of housing policy is issuing a ‘call for evidence’ from organisations and individuals with an interest in housing policy.
Earlier this year Labour Leader Ed Miliband MP established several Policy Reviews, including one led by Shadow Communities Secretary Caroline Flint MP which will focus on the key question: How do we meet families’ aspirations for good housing and a good home?
Written evidence is invited by Monday 27 June covering any or all of the above and any other relevant issues.  A website is being launched and submissions will need to be in a specified format and may be published: we will publish details here when they are available, and the document will also be available on the LHG website at .  This will be an important exercise and Red Brick encourages readers to consider the questions and make submissions.  We would also be pleased to receive any comments for publication on this site.
The call for evidence starts by recognising that Britain’s housing system is failing and that there is a genuine housing crisis, the effects of which go well beyond the needs of those on housing waiting lists: “Our commitment is to a decent home for all at a price within their means, supporting successful, safe and sustainable communities where people are able to lead happy, healthy lives and contribute to their local community, and ensuring that the next generation of families has access to the sort of home that best suits their needs and meets their aspirations.”
The Housing Policy Review will consider:
1 – The Changing Landscape:

  • What effect will significant demographic trends have on household formation and household type in the future?
  • What will the impact of Government’s policies on housing be and how will it vary around the country?
  • What will the housing market look like in 2015, and how significant will regional variations be?
  • How are changes in the housing market affecting people’s expectations and aspirations for housing and decisions about their lives?

2 – Places where people want to live:

  • Where do people want to live and what do people want from a home and from the community they live in? Does everyone want the same?
  • How do we create and finance the infrastructure and amenities that communities need to thrive?
  • How can housing support safe, healthy communities where people are able to work and their children can get a good education?

 3 – Housing finance:

  • How do we encourage more private and institutional investment in housing?
  • Where should public expenditure on housing be spent?
  • How do we create a housing market that contributes to economic stability and
  • How do we balance a prudent approach to mortgage lending with a mortgage market that enables people to buy their own home?

 4 – Housing supply: 

  • What are the causes of undersupply in the housing market and why have levels of house-building fallen to such low levels?
  • What lessons can we learn from our approach in government and from what worked in the past or overseas?
  • How do we support the construction industry to build more homes? And in an environmentally sustainable way?
  • What role can converting empty residential or commercial units play in creating more homes and how can we increase supply amongst existing housing stock?

 5 – Home ownership:

  • Why do people want to own their own home?
  • Are there aspects of home ownership that could be replicated in other types of tenure?
  • What is preventing people from buying their own home?
  • How do we make home ownership more affordable and accessible for first-time buyers?

 6 – Social Housing:

  • What is the role of social housing providers? Who should live in social housing and how should it be allocated?
  • Why do people want to live in social housing and are there aspects of social housing that could be replicated in other types of tenure?
  • What should the relationship be between social housing and the private rented sector and home ownership?
  • How do we ensure that all social homes are decent?

 7 – Private rented sector:

  • Why do people live in the private rented sector?
  • What do people want from a home in the private rented sector?
  • How do we tackle bad landlords? Does the private rented sector need better regulation?

 8 – Planning:

  • How do we increase land supply for housing?
  • How do we make better use of previously developed land and vacant dwellings?
  • How do we overcome local opposition to proposed developments and get communities to champion new homes?
  • How do we ensure that those outside the housing market aren’t excluded from decisions about development?

 9 – Housing design and quality:

  • How do we encourage the best design in new builds?
  • Are homes in Britain fit for purpose and how do we improve the quality of housing?
  • How do we set the standard for energy efficiency in new builds and improve energy efficiency in existing stock, especially private stock?
  • What would a ‘green homes standard’ look like?