How to beat the Housing Crisis

There is a very real opportunity for Lord Heseltine and his regeneration panel to look at the successful work already being done across the UK. The successful partnership of Registered Providers and Local Authorities already provides an established model for them to exploit in order to regenerate estates and increase the delivery of much needed affordable homes.

Analysis of Estate regeneration projects (taken from Zone 3 areas in London) has shown us that there is great development potential within the existing property portfolios of local authorities.

For instance take a 1970s estate of 300 local authority homes. By transferring the estate to a Registered Provider for regeneration it could create capital receipts in the millions of pounds, increase the number of affordable units by 10%, create 350 new dwellings, provide close to £140m of construction work and reduce estate running costs by around £450,000 a year.

This approach not only utilises existing space, creates new, energy efficient homes but is shown to develop stronger mixed tenure and mixed use communities.

If this model was replicated across London alone, with each borough identifying 3 estates, it could provide an additional 35,500 new homes, provide £14bn worth of construction work and reduce housing maintenance costs by upwards of £25m a year.

This however, would need the panel to secure Government backing to incentivise Local Authorities to identify 3 estates for regeneration and provide a template, so that a simple high level and consistent appraisal could be produced. If an accelerated Estate Regeneration programme was implemented, who knows, we might even be able to reverse the affordable housing crisis.

21 March 2015