There is a deepening housing shortage throughout England, and the lack of new homes has inflated the annual Housing Benefit bill. Government policies and programmes and the changes to the planning system have not resulted in enough new house building.
Mayor Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool; Core Cities Cabinet Member, Housing and Planning
Cities need more direct influence over national housing policy and resources. They need empowering to innovate and use their own resources and know-how to create new housing.
Among our asks, we would like planning policy to support and prioritise housing development on brownfield urban sites. Tax breaks and other incentives within newly designated Brownfield Development Zones will make them more attractive to house builders.
We need Government to work with cities to shift public spending from Housing Benefits to affordable house building.
Social and Municipal house building must be part of the mix, where appropriate. The Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap should be lifted and discounted lending should be used to increase investment in the building of new homes.
There is great potential for investment in building for the private rented sector but a solution is needed to make this work in all parts of the country.
As drivers of jobs and wealth, the Core Cities offer the most viable and sustainable locations for relieving some of the development pressures on the south east and its greenbelt. A greater focus on getting the right housing in the right place across Core Cities will have the added benefit of helping to rebalance the national economy.