@kitmalthouse on ‘Obviously Incorrect’ Housing Need Numbers #OANishambles now fixed?

Planning Resource – as predicted – he even hilariously misquotes this blog.  well done Kit though much needed.  BTW the people staying at home issue needs looking at (especially for students) at both original and destination – its not just household representative rates but migration (wonkish as Paul Krugman always says) 

Speaking
yesterday at a Conservative Party Conference fringe event on home ownership
organised by the ConservativeHome website, Kit
Malthouse also revealed that the government is considering looking at whether
the projections mask pent-up demand by basing their figures on a period of low
household growth.

The
household projections were published by the government’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) last
month
.

When the
government’s new standard method of assessing housing need, introduced in the
NPPF, is applied to the new projections, 17 authorities see their need fall by
more than 50 per cent and 73 see it cut by more than a third, according to the
consultancy Bidwells.

While the
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), which used to
publish the figures until last year, based its projections on household trends
back to 1971, the ONS only used trends in household formation back to
2001. 

At the
fringe event, Malthouse was asked by a councillor from Berkshire about the new
projections prompting a drop in housing need.

The
minister said: “We are having a very rapid look at this rather unexpected
result from the ONS. It has caused some very anomalous results. There’s some
strong growth areas of the country that now have a zero housing need which is
patently obviously incorrect.”

Malthouse
said that “part of the problem” is that the ONS has changed the
methodology used by MHCLG. 

The ONS
has chosen to measure household formation rates between just two census points,
he said, covering a “period of particularly low housing growth”
during which “there was an artificial constraint on household
formation”. 

“Households can only form if there are households [sic homes] for them to form into,” he added. 

In
contrast, the MHCLG used to measure over five census points covering a longer
period, said Malthouse. 

He added:
“We are looking at some data on the increase in the number of people
staying at home to see whether that artificial constraint means we should look
at the numbers again. 

“We
are hoping to make a rapid announcement about that because [councils] are doing
the maths and saying ‘I’m off the hook.’

“But
my message [to local authorities] is: don’t take your foot off the
accelerator. 

“[The
projection] doesn’t reflect the pent-up demand, the people who weren’t catered
to in the previous 20 or 30 years and now want to get on the housing
ladder. 

“This
is a projection forward of household formation, not a reflection of previous
demand which has been thus far unmet.”

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