“The Chancellor today has announced a set of measures from national government that recognise the urgency of the housing challenge. The link made between housing supply and infrastructure investment is a very positive step, making the necessary connection to the National Infrastructure Commission. The Solace Housing policy paper in 2015 stressed the importance of adopting this joined up approach. The new £2.3bn Housing Infrastructure Fund to enable the delivery of 100,000 new homes in high demand areas is another step towards addressing the structural under supply of new homes. An extra £1.4bn spend on new affordable housing is also a welcome addition to the current fiscal housing package as it introduces greater flexibility to tackle local barriers to housing delivery. The freedoms and flexibilities devolved to support 90,000 affordable homes in London is an approach, the principles of which could be replicated across the rest of the country.”
In December 2015, Martin Swales, Chief Executive of South Tyneside MBC and Solace spokesperson for Economic Growth and Housing, led the preparation of the Solace policy paper ‘Addressing the national housing challenge’. It set out a number of ways in which Local Government, with the right powers and flexibilities can be an even greater contributor to the housing planning and delivery process.