Stonewater welcomed the Chartered Institute of Housing’s (CIH) Total Housing 2018 Conference in Brighton this week (7-8 March), which has brought together industry experts from across London and the South-east to address the region’s chronic housing crisis.
“We have a broken housing market that is creating widespread poverty, ill health and homelessness,” said Sue Shirt, Stonewater’s Executive Director for Housing. “There is an annual shortfall of 104,000 homes in the region and we’re not building enough affordable new homes — nor building them fast enough — to meet current demand. We need new strategies and solutions to tackle the problem, particularly in the face of growing construction skills shortages, rising build costs and post-Brexit uncertainty. This week’s CIH conference has provided a unique opportunity for housing professionals to meet and brainstorm some of the big housing issues facing the region and new approaches to solving them — from how we deliver more affordable homes across all tenures and maximise the potential of existing housing stock, to innovative factory-built housing, 3D printing and planning reform.”
While the UK’s housebuilding industry is on track to deliver the Government’s one million new homes target by 2020, typical house prices in London and the South-east are costing up to 13 times average earnings, and the cost of renting consumes a third of the average monthly pay packet – leaving many families frozen out of the market.
Sue Shirt, pictured above, continued: “Tackling the region’s housing crisis requires a major re-think of how we deliver homes faster and more cost-effectively, where they are most needed. As a leading social housing provider with a significant development programme, Stonewater is working hard to drive innovation and positive change.”