Government Revises Standard Housing Method – But hasn’t Told us How

MCHLG Press Release – not even on front page – No link to the new method yet.

New measures to level up England’s cities, recover from the pandemic and help provide much-needed new homes have been set out by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick today.

Following a consultation launched in the summer that sought views from planners, councils and the wider public, the Government has announced its plan for enabling the delivery of more homes across England.

A housing need formula is currently used to provide a starting point in the process of local planning for new homes. An updated method will now be introduced to help councils to enable the delivery of 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s, while prioritising brownfield sites and urban areas.

Under the proposals, cities will be encouraged to plan for more family homes – which are the right size and type for families to live in – and to make the most of vacant buildings and underused land to protect green spaces. The plans will encourage more homes to be built in England’s 20 largest cities and urban centres, boosting local economies by supporting jobs in the building sector, and revitalising high streets with the footfall new residents bring.

The Government also intends to revise the so-called ‘80/20 rule’ which guides how much funding is available to local areas to help build homes. This will establish a new principle to ensure funding is not just concentrated in London and the South East.

We dont yet have the details but the following is clear.

  • The cap will go as it refers to 300k not the 260k of the current capped formula
  • There will be less Homes England funding for SE and London and hence less affordable housing
  • It will push more housing into Green Belt areas as these are edge of cities
  • If the above London Plan levels of housing (unrealistic) are maintained it will embed undelivery of the governments 300k ‘Ambition’ (no longer a target) nd increase pressure under the DTC to build in the South East around London.
  • The money for GM and GL is no new – existing pot.
  • The 100 mill for other areas brownfield is new

It is difficult to see how it has been revised – will there be a different formula for the 20 largest cities nd towns or is this just the effect of the fomula. If the former it would be hard to see how this is justified on needs grounds, the weight given to population or housing formation should not change based on density?

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