Nathanial Litchfield ‘Don’t get too excited’ about New Household Projections – Questions About Credibility as Basis for Planning Housing Need

Must Read
‘ The new projections show reductions from the 2014-based figures in every Housing Market Area except Ipswich, and in Cambridge it produces a negative figure – an output that raises an emblematic concern about the use of these new figures as the basis of housing need,’
ONS’s remit is to produce demographic projections based on past trends –its approach is not inherently wrong from a statistician or demographer’s perspective, but they now project forward trends that Government policy is explicitly seeking to reverse, raising questions as to whether they fit for purpose for planning for housing need. Perhaps the best examples of the concern is that the projections show zero or negative figures for Oxford and Cambridge over the ten-year period used in the standard method, which might imply no need for any new housing in two locations with acute housing problems. There is also an inconsistency in how communal establishments such as care homes are treated (excluded from the projections but included within the housing need figure).