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Birmingham

Housing crisis needs to be sorted

if city is to flourish says JLL


Birmingham 25 November 2014 - As JLL publishes its latest residential research looking at how we address the housing crisis, Elle Cass planning director at JLL's Birmingham office says tackling housing in the city is essential for long term economic growth in the region.

Elle's comments come on the back of figures showing a supply shortage of 100,000 homes year on year to 2017, with the number of households in the UK set to rise by over 220,000 a year in the coming decade.

"Even with the increased housing starts in England of 137,000, " says Elle "It's woefully insufficient. If we are going to retain graduates in the city and encourage new talent to help deliver sustainable growth, we have to have the homes for them to live in, settle and build their future here."

Elle continues: "Despite the 2004 Barker Report which essentially delivered a common sense economic review of the problem; housebuilders; the planning system; and more latterly the global financial crisis have all been blamed for the lack of delivery, but real solutions have been in short supply."

The JLL report, the Supply Conundrum, discusses a myriad of schemes that could help to address the issue including Help to Buy, Garden Cities, Housing Zones, Build to Rent, a small developer fund and higher density delivery.

"The reality is that these are likely to have only a limited effect in isolation given the huge gap between supply and demand even before the impact of the recession." says Elle.

"The last time housing was provided in tandem with demand was during the post war council housing initiative; this is unlikely to be repeated. 

"Add into the mix an erosion of the skills base, a loss of many of the small players and a risk adverse national housebuilding industry and ratcheting up the numbers remains the greatest challenge in the development industry today.
 
Elle states: "What we need is a radical change in political will in relation to the delivery of housing land including the release of greenbelt; education to engender public support for housing and all that it can deliver for communities and the economy; and support for the housebuilding industry to grow and reskill.

 "These objectives may appear idealistic and perhaps overly simplistic…but to me it is a change in mind-set nationally which is required to pump prime the sector.  We cannot all aspire to home ownership…but also oppose development." Elle concludes.