Case Studies

Regeneration Momentum: Affordable Housing

Planning & Development
Property Market Analysis

Northern Way


AspinallVerdi and Dr. Rachael Unsworth, Urban Geographer were commissioned by the Northern Way to research the question,

“Does affordable housing planning policy act as an impediment to housing delivery and is there a better way of regulating the market?”

Report Summary

In a period of growing demand, the government aimed to secure affordable housing by regulating the mix of housing provided by developers. The requirement has often been implemented without sufficient regard for the particularly circumstances for individual communities. Ironically, the supply of affordable housing became dependent on rising prices.

The report advocates a fundamental re-think of the financial, institutional and planning systems, to improve the possibility of households gaining access to and being able to retain their position in housing. Specifically considering the North of England, it includes both short term interventions and a range of innovations to be put in place over the longer term.

There needs to be a freeing up of housing supply to remove barriers to change and dismantle distortionary practices which inhibit an efficient market. But this needs to be coupled with measures to alter controls on both the supply and demand sides, in order to limit perverse outcomes and where possible to reduce socio-economic and geographical disparities. There also needs to be a greater emphasis on the growing role of the rental sector and institutional investment in housing, and a much greater role for both co-operative and mutual housing options, which have strong roots in the North. This is about ensuring that there is a range of products and tenures which enable better access to housing, with an emphasis on improving existing neighbourhoods.

Copies of the report are available from AspinallVerdi.

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Regeneration Momentum: Affordable Housing