When it comes to housing the main political clash comes with parties trading statistics about how many homes have been built or the future targets. Less attention has been given to the sort of homes that have been, or will be, constructed.
The Conservative Manifesto says:
“We will meet our 2015 commitment to deliver a million homes by the end of 2020 and we will deliver half a million more by the end of 2022.”
But it also goes on to talk about the sort of new housing we will see:
“More homes will not mean poor quality homes. For too long, careless developers, high land costs and poor planning have conspired to produce housing developments that do not enhance the lives of those living there. We have not provided the infrastructure, parks, quality of space and design that turns housing into community and makes communities prosperous and sustainable. The result is felt by many ordinary, working families. Too often, those renting or buying a home on a modest income have to tolerate substandard developments -some only a few years old -and are denied a decent place in which to live, where they can put down roots and raise children. For a country boasting the finest architects and planners in the world, this is unacceptable.
“We will build better houses, to match the quality of those we have inherited from previous generations. That means supporting high-quality, high-density housing like mansion blocks, mews houses and terraced streets.”
There will be “participation of social and municipal housing providers.” But those wanting funds for new tower blocks are likely to be disappointed. The new homes must not be delivered “at the expense of high standards, however: councils have been amongst the worst offenders in failing to build sustainable, integrated communities.”
So an important victory for the social enterprise Create Streets. It’s Director is Nicholas Boys Smith who has written several pieces for this site – which would seem to have been noted in Downing Street.