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  Housing And Regeneration

This policy theme includes our work on social housing, private rented sector, eco-towns, regeneration, suburbia, and urban renewal. Our work this year will be mainly focused on funding social housing, eco-homes, and placemaking.
Project partners include: Sir Bob Kerslake, Professor Sir Peter Hall, Professor Michael Parkinson CBE, David Cowans, Liz Peace CBE, Tom Bloxham MBE, David Orr, HCA, Department for Communities and Local Government, Genesis Housing Association, Southwark Council, CABE, TCPA, Building Magazine, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Investing in council housing: options for the future - A report by the independent commission on the future of council housing in Southwark
The Smith Institute acted as the secretariat (providing information and research) to the independent commission on the future of council housing in Southwark. The Commission looked at the future financing, ownership and operation of Southwark’s housing stock beyond 2015 over a 30 year period. The report sets out a challenging agenda for local authorities and their tenants across the country. 

London for sale? An assessment of the private housing market in London and the impact of growing overseas investment
This new Smith Institute and Future of London report examines the London property market, and argues that an influx of overseas investment risks creating an unsustainable property boom, and pricing Londoners out of the market. The report calls on the Government and the Mayor of London to curb speculation in the property market and recommends: better collection of data and information on the scale, distribution and sources of overseas investment into London, especially on empty homes held by investors domiciled overseas; more analysis of the impact of overseas investment on prices, affordability and supply; and incentives and regulation to ensure that overseas investment is not simply capitalising on rising asset values and that it bears costs that are proportionate to the financial benefits. 

Making the Most of HRA Reform
As the legislation to reform the Housing Revenue Account concludes its passage through Parliament the Smith Institute and PwC thought it would be useful to examine the opportunities and risks arising from the changes. In particular, to better understand the impact of the reforms over time and explore the extent to which a new self-financing regime could increase investment in affordable housing. The report suggests that under the Reforms councils could have control of over £300bn of rental income over the next 30 years and they could build up over £50bn of new investment capacity. 

New Urban Living for London: the Making of East Village
In this new, beautifully illustrated Smith Institute publication ‘New Urban Living for London: the Making of East Village’, Research Fellow Denise Chevin takes a look at the new community being created in the East End of London, on the Olympic Park site.  In the publication, Denise looks at the history of the site, and assesses the prospects for the future of the brand new E20 village in Stratford.

The End of the Affair: Implications of Declining Home Ownership
The promise of home ownership has been at the heart of the UK’s political discourse since the mid 1970s, when only half of all households were owner-occupiers. Since Thatcher’s “right to buy” in the 1980, a long line of housing ministers from both the main parties have pushed for policies to get more people onto the property ladder. The net result, fostered by financial deregulation, was an increase in home ownership to a peak of just over 70% in 2003.However, home ownership is now on a downward trend, as a result of various social, economic, political and demographic changes. The talk of aspiration and security through home ownership has given way to serious concerns about widening housing inequalities, falling house prices, under-supply of new homes, and a shift away from reliance on asset-backed welfare and housing as a private investment. This report not only comprehensively documents and explains the decline in home ownership; it also explores the short- and longer-term costs and consequences for government, housing associations and the fast-growing private rented sector.

Mind the Gap – Housing Supply in a Cold Climate
An adequate supply and choice of good quality housing is vital for our economic and social wellbeing. However, in recent decades we have fallen well short of providing anywhere near the number of new homes needed. Indeed, the gap between housing demand and housing supply in England has widened, especially for affordable homes. The shortfall is now set to get much worse. With housing production at an 80-year low, the housing supply backlog is likely to approach1million by the end of 2010. This unprecedented level of under-supply has serious social and economic consequences, not least in regard to housing waiting lists and homeownership. The report assesses the impact of the housing crisis and makes recommendations on what can be done to boost the supply of new homes. By David Pretty CBE, Paul Hackett, Town and Country Planning Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers. 2009

Housing and Growth in Suburbia
This unique publication follows on from work that the Smith Institute has undertaken on housing and place making. Suburbia has grown enormously and changed dramatically over the past 20 years. Today, more than 80%of the population of England live in suburban areas. Public policy has often overlooked these trends. While suburbs are clearly popular places to live, some have suffered neglect and many have weak labour markets, poor infrastructure, and below-average green credentials. It is from this starting point that the essays in this collection set out ways to make suburban areas more sustainable and much better places to live and work. As Peter Hall says in his introduction, “This is a challenge to politicians of all persuasions in the run-up to the next election.” Includes chapters from Professor Sir Peter Hall, William McKee, Dr Nicholas Falk, Yolande Barnes, and Jim Bennett. 2009

Regeneration in a Downturn: What needs to change?

This publication builds on the work that the Smith Institute has undertaken in shaping the policy debate on regeneration and renewal. It follows on from the work we have completed on housing, regional policy and economic development, and complements the recent reports by government and others on regeneration in a recession. The essays, by leading players in the field, offer a unique set of perspectives on the effects of the downturn as well as a menu of ideas and recommendations on the future direction of regeneration policy. The world of regeneration has been turned upside down by the credit crunch; we hope that this publication can provide some guidance on what needs to change in order to prepare for the upturn. Includes chapters by Professor Michael Parkinson CBE, Sir Bob Kerslake, Liz Peace CBE and Tom Bloxham MBE. 2009

Click here for all our publications on housing and regeneration


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