North of England needs 500,000 homes in 10 years

September 13, 2017 / Isla MacFarlane
North of England needs 500,000 homes in 10 years

A new report suggests some 500,000 new homes are needed in the next 10 years to meet the North of England’s growth ambitions.

Planning and development consultancy Lichfields compiled the report for Homes for the North (H4N) – an alliance of nineteen large housing associations who want to ensure enough homes are delivered across the North of England.

Lichfields identified the planned future housing requirements of 72 Northern Local Authorities as set out in the evidence underpinning their Local Plans; and how this aligns with potential future economic scenarios for the North of England.

Phil Jones, Planning Director of Lichfields, said, “Whilst the relationship between the economy and the residential offer varies across the North of England, planning for housing requires a holistic understanding of the position in each city, town and settlement across the North of England.

“This Study for H4N assists the 19 Housing Associations in prioritising local investments and creating new approaches to integrated housing delivery, through working in close collaboration with partners at a national, pan-northern and local level.”

Lichfields says the shortfall in the North makes up 29% of the country’s entire projected housing need whilst 70% of the North’s housing requirements, is concentrated in the seven City Regions.

Breaking down the data down by City Region, Lichfields reports:

  • Leeds City Region is expected to have the most demand for new homes across the North, with projections accounting for almost a quarter (23%) or 13,088 homes every year over the next decade;
  • Manchester City Region is expected to need 10,682 homes every year for the next decade, while Liverpool City Region and Sheffield City Region are projected to require over 5,364 and 5,395 homes respectively every year over the next 10 years. 2,540 will be required in the Hull City Region over the next decade;
  • In the North East, 2,886 new homes every year will be required in Tyne and Wear and 1878 per annum will be required in the Tees Valley over the next decade.

H4N says that while there is a need for all housing tenures, a shortage of good quality homes to rent is a particular concern, to meet the needs of large numbers of graduates and younger working families.

H4N has set out some policy recommendations to help boost housing supply in the North:

  1. A housing target for the North. To focus minds on the challenge, Government should adopt, alongside the national housebuilding target, regional ones including half a million homes over 10 years for the North. This should be embedded in the Infrastructure Strategy to cement the relationship between housing and supporting infrastructure.
  2. Rent certainty to boost Housing Association development. Rents are currently capped with a planned review in 2020. By putting in place a rent deal with the most efficient Housing Associations, the Government would give the certainty HAs need to build more.
  3. Combined Authorities given a larger role in identifying potential sites: this could include identifying Housing Zones; adopting US-style ‘Pink Planning Zones’ with place-based deregulation, and exploring the role of Housing Development Orders on brownfield sites across a combined authority.
  4. Use funds from the £3 billion Home Building Fund to help speed the rebalancing of the UK economy – allocating a proportion to the North to directly address market failure in housebuilding in these areas.

Mark Henderson, Chairman of Homes for the North, said, “Over the past decade 300,000 highly skilled workers have left the North. The government urgently need to stem this ‘brain drain’ to ensure our regional economies have the ability to flourish and compete with London.

“Housing could play a vital role. While much of the debate over projected demand has been centred around the capital, our research shows that almost a third of new homes in England will be required across our great “To meet the expected demand in new housing across the North, we need a more diverse market. Providers like us could double the amount we build if only government released more public land for development and provided more certainty over future housing funding. “

Responding to the report, Sajid Javid MP, The Secretary of State for the Communities and Local Government, said, “We welcome Homes for the North’s ambition to drive up housing supply and provide many new homes where people want to live.

“This ambition is entirely in line with our recent White Paper, which set out our own plans to increase housing supply. Our £3bn Home Building Fund is helping to build thousands of high quality rented homes so tenants in the North and across the UK have greater choice and our flexible £7.1 billion Affordable Homes Programme is supporting regions around the country to achieve their housing ambitions. We recently announced a housing deal with Leeds, and hope to announce deals with other places at Autumn Budget.

“Through this package of measures we’re helping to fix the broken housing market and boost growth across the North.”

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