From the Shores to the Shires – Regional Local Council, Big Housing Opportunities

Britain is building again, but not where most people expect. You might think that housebuilding is dominated by the big cities and bustling metropolitan areas. But it isn’t. Building, and opportunity to build, is dominated by Britain’s coastal communities, the country villages and market towns, post-industrial heartlands and the historic cities and counties of England.  shores-to-the-shires-for-web

This research report demonstrates that regional local councils have been the beating heart delivering new homes for our country. However,  these regional local councils do not have the attention, full powers, funding and support from central government which is enjoyed by the Capital and Metropolitan areas.  Re-balancing our housing policy is necessary to better support local regional councils.

The HFi’s five-point plan to re-balance national housing policy:

  1. Keep the cash from sales: Allow regional local councils to keep the cash from any valuable houses they sell, provided there is a track record of housing delivery or a clear deliverable plan for new homes within 4 years.
  2. Exempt from the Levy: All regional local councils to be exempted from the high value assets levy, provided there is a track record of housing delivery or a clear deliverable plan for new homes within 4 years.
  3. Devo for Districts: Give extra cash allocations and financial support to regional local councils if they can show they can and will deliver more homes and growth. ‘Devo for Districts’ should be allowed for councils with a track record who could benefit from some of the freedoms and flexibilities which have been given to urban centres.
  4. Housing hubs: Pinpoint key areas of housing opportunity in regional local councils which can be translated into more homes, faster. Provide additional support for infrastructure funding to realise these homes sooner, including for new water supply and other utilities funding.
  5. Housing Business Ready: Fund capacity building with our flagship “Housing Business Ready” programme to help councils in the practical work needed to implement good business skills, improve monitoring and business resilience and drive through housing delivery.

You can read the full From the Shores to the Shire report here.