This report is the first serious stock take and analysis of the place of housing, planning and regeneration in the 11 devolution deals agreed to date. It shows how devolution agreements on housing to date have been patchy and piecemeal, lacking serious funding or new powers.
The report shows that devolution in housing and planning has widespread support, but the journey so far is viewed as slow, piecemeal and undermined by centralising tendencies from the present government as well as inappropriate national programmes and targets. The findings, based on the views of senior officers from the combined authorities, suggests that there is a clear desire from combined authorities for greater consistency and greater powers and resources to meet their particular housing needs and ambitions. One important demand is for a single long-term devolved funding pot for housing to deliver scale and certainty, rather than multiple pots of money, each with strings attached. Authorities are also clear they want their devolution deals to be on a similar footing to that in London. A formal ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ would be a suitable vehicle for taking forward devo-housing deals.