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Treasury told councils should play key role in delivering homes

29/01/2015
Treasury told councils should play key role in delivering homes
Local authorities should be freed to do more to stimulate building new homes, a report commissioned by the government has claimed.

Written by  housing finance expert Natalie Elphicke and Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council Keith House, the report says that councils can play a greater role in the supply of housing and the push to get Britain building.

The author proposes that councils become “housing delivery enablers” working to asses the specific housing needs of their area.

In addition councils are urged to consider ways they can actively assist smaller and start-up housing businesses locally, helping with land, finance or training.

Elphicke and House also urge the government to take steps to support councils as they take on this new role.

House said: “We have seen some inspiring examples of councils driving housing for their areas, particularly where they have set up housing companies to drive forward housebuilding.

“With skills and confidence, more councils can help to deliver that step-change in housing supply.”

Elphicke said: “We have talked for a decade. There have been many great reforms. Now it’s time for councils to foster a homebuilding revolution.

She said: “Councils hold the key to shake up the status quo and to get Britain building.”

The government welcomed the core recommendation in the review that councils should become housing delivery enablers.

It also accepted the proposal that it should consult on extending the local government Transparency Code to cover all Housing Revenue Account land.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis told the Commons: “We also accept other key recommendations, including that the government monitors schemes to support small builders, and considers strengthening advice to encourage more councils to pro-actively support neighbourhood planning.”

The Elphicke-House report: from statutory provider to housing delivery enabler: review into the local authority role in housing supply

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/398829/150126_LA_Housing_Review_Report_FINAL.pdf