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West Midlands Regional Conference The contribution of strategic housing role to place shaping Dave Marr Government Office for the West Midlands Content of presentation Progress on housing to date; Key issues for the future; What we mean by “strategic housing role”;

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West Midlands Regional ConferenceThe contribution of strategic housing role to place shapingDave Marr Government Office for the West Midlands


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Content of presentation

  • Progress on housing to date;

  • Key issues for the future;

  • What we mean by “strategic housing role”;

  • How we take things forward.


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What has been achieved so far?

  • Housing policies have improved quality of place and secured better outcomes for people:

    • housing supply increased from 130,000 new homes in 2001/02 to over 180,000;

    • PPS3 provides local authorities more flexibility in how they plan for housing;

    • number of non-decent social homes reduced by more than 1 million;

    • over 1 million vulnerable people helped to live independently each year through Supporting People;

    • Housing Act 2004 powers have helped to improve standards in the private rented sector;

    • significant reductions in homelessness;

    • In WM, housing market area partnerships and progress on urban renaissance.


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Key themes looking forward

  • Responsive services and empowered communities, as well as greater devolution to help councils in their place shaping role (Local Government White Paper);

  • Package of measures & investment aimed at making social housing fairer, more effective & personal, building on the Hills Report (Yvette Cooper’s speech on 12 December);

  • Regulation of social housing to encourage better management, tenant voice and tenant empowerment (Cave Review & Housing & Regeneration Bill);

  • Joining-up delivery of housing and regeneration, and supporting local authorities in creating prosperous and cohesive communities (Homes & Communities Agency & Housing & Regeneration Bill).

  • Delivering more affordable, sustainable homes as part of wider place shaping activity (Housing Green Paper);


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Delivering more homes

  • Housing Supply Challenge:

    • Growth in households continues to exceed supply of houses

    • Despite recent improvements, housing completions remain historically low


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Affordability

Ratio of house prices to earnings

(lower quartile) 1999 and 2006

  • As a consequence

    • As demand has grown faster than supply affordability has worsened in all regions

    • The lower quartile house price to earnings ratio increased from 3.84 in 1999 to 7.12 in 2006.

  • Households waiting for social housing has risen by 60% in 10 years

  • 0.5 million households are living in overcrowded accommodation

  • Households in temporary accommodation has doubled in 10 years


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Government response

  • Housing Green Paper announced

  • plans to increase housing supply over time to deliver two million new homes by

  • 2016 and three million by 2020

  • new housing target to deliver 240,000 additional homes a year by 2016

  • Reinforced by PBR/CSR 07

  • New Growth Points, including for the first time areas in the North of England

  • Proposals for 10 eco-town schemes

  • New £500million Housing and Planning Delivery Grant over the next 3 years

  • New £300 million Community Infrastructure Fund

  • New Planning Charge to support infrastructure

  • Higher target of 200,000 new homes on surplus public sector land by 2016


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Government response 2

Not just more houses – but better and more affordable homes

  • Confirmation of target to ensure all new homes are zero carbon by 2016

  • £8bn programme for affordable housing from 2008-11 with increases in every region

  • at least70,000 affordable homes to be built a year by 2010/11

  • at least 45,000 of these homes to be provided for social rent

  • plans to help at least 25,000 households into Low Cost Home Ownership per year

  • new opportunities for councils to build additional social rented and shared equity homes on their land through new Local Housing Companies and ALMOs


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Importance of place shaping

  • 3 million houses - places or estates?

  • Place shaping is about authorities making the right links across key functions:

    • housing; planning; economic development; regeneration; social services; transport;

  • Place shaping involves

    • strategic leadership bringing together agencies and partners

    • joint vision for the future through the SCS and LDF core strategy

    • spatial planning – to shape places and facilitate sustainable development

    • delivering outcomes

  • Understanding the needs and preferences of local people & local communities;

  • Pulling together partners to secure local delivery, through LSP and LAA.


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    What is the strategic housing role?

    • The strategic housing role is at the heart of place shaping:

      • planning & facilitating new supply;

      • using evidence & intelligence to plan future housing need across all tenures;

      • planning and commissioning housing support services to help people live in their home;

      • making best use of existing housing stock;

      • working in partnership to secure effective housing & neighbourhood management on an on-going basis.


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    What does the strategic housing role mean in practice ?

    • Appropriate collaboration at regional, sub-regional and local levels

    • Integrating housing strategy with the Sustainable Community Strategy, LDF Core Strategy and LAA

    • Aligning housing with other functions (e.g. economic development, health, social services, education, transport);

    • understanding & influencing housing markets, addressing affordability;

    • making full use of existing levers and powers in respect of existing and new housing stock;

    • working closely with Homes & Communities Agency & partners;


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    The broader picture

    • Needs to be seen in the context of LGWP, Housing Green Paper, Planning WP, SNR, Climate Change Bill etc

    • Significant responsibilities at LA level to develop an effective spatial vision for your area:

      • New economic development duty

      • Leading role in carbon reduction

      • Leading role on housing supply

      • New responsibilities on skills

      • Leading role on developing the new single regional strategies and work at sub regional level through MAAs etc


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    What help is available?

    • New powerful tools in place to shape and fund infrastructure – esp if tied to prudential borrowing:

      • Supplementary business rate

      • New planning charge – underpinned by infrastructure plan and LDF

    • Housing Green Paper contained measures to empower the local authority strategic housing role:

      • Housing & Planning Delivery Grant to direct extra resources to councils delivering high levels of housing

      • new ways for councils & ALMOs to build homes on council land;

      • councils able to make better use of existing stock and bring empty homes back into use with help from Empty Homes Agency.

    • Yvette Cooper’s 12 December speech provided support for making social housing fairer, more effective and personal:

      • reducing overcrowding through a national Overcrowding Action Plan, making best use of existing stock & plans for larger homes;

      • increasing mobility and choice for tenants;

      • delivering more mixed communities.

      • confirmation of Regional Housing Pot allocations.

    • IDeA capacity building programme - providing practical support for authorities’ strategic housing role and wider place shaping activities;


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    Involves some challenges ....

    • …. for Government:

    • to ensure that the new local performance framework, including Comprehensive Area Assessment, recognises the importance of housing in the context of place shaping;

    • to provide further guidance on the strategic housing role, and the integration of housing strategies within Sustainable Community Strategies.

    • …. for partners locally

    • to work effectiveness in partnership with local authorities to plan and deliver a joined-up approach to addressing housing need across all tenures;

    • to help develop and deliver wider LAA priorities;


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    .... as well as challenges for local authorities

    • Strong local leadership essential for place shaping;

    • Understanding, and balancing, the needs

      and aspirations of all residents;

    • Pulling together partners across local, sub-regional and regional levels to deliver strategic housing activity;

    • Ensuring the skills & capacity necessary to prioritise strategic housing activity;

    • Ensuring that housing contributes fully to LAAs.


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