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News Release


Research reveals that Government reforms will worsen the West Midlands Housing crisis

Jones Lang LaSalle study suggests a reduced number of affordable homes

Birmingham, 25th November 2011 - National research by Jones Lang LaSalle, predicts a worsening of the housing crisis in the West Midlands.
With one the country’s biggest “affordability gaps”, between average house-prices and average earnings, and a housing-delivery gap between the number of new homes needed and the number being built, the West Midlands faces a further reduction in the delivery of affordable homes as a result of Government reforms.
That is the finding of the latest study by Jones Lang LaSalle, who surveyed more than 40 social housing providers.
More than half of the survey respondents predict that recent rule-changes on increasing affordable-housing rents to 80% of market levels, capping housing benefits, and reducing home-building support, will see a cut in the number of affordable homes they will build.
“This is severely bad news for communities in the West Midlands, that are struggling to retain their young people and low-paid key workers”, said Elle Cass, from the planning team of Jones Lang LaSalle in the Birmingham.
That challenge to the West Midlands’ housing crisis is made worse by what Elle describes as “ill informed” opposition to the Government’s proposed changes to planning rules, spearheaded by such bodies as the CPRE and National Trust – eager to quash the proposed change in favour of granting planning consent for sustainable housing.
“Ever since the 1947 Town & Country Planning Act, there has meant to be a presumption in favour of development; but we are now seeing home-building in this region at the lowest level for decades”, said Elle.
“There is no question that this region has one of Britain’s most dire needs for more homes, and especially for affordable homes.  That can only happen with the active involvement of local councils, who must grasp the Government’s new ‘Localism’ agenda to finalise their overdue local plans, identify housing development sites, and hold their political nerve against local NIMBY resistance to deliver the planning consents. "