INTRODUCTION The Future Homes Commission was set up a year ago by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to conduct an independent inquiry into the quality of newly-built housing, to ensure that more and better homes become available to house a growing and ageing population. At first glance the Commission’s task looked barely possible — to find a way to massively increase house building and substantially improve quality, without government subsidy in the middle of a recession. But the evidence we have heard and the inspiring examples of new developments that we have seen have shown that the revolution we are calling for is both essential and possible. The government has already taken a number of steps to encourage house building — removing planning constraints and regulations perceived to act as barriers to increasing the supply of new homes, and trying to unlock mortgage finance. Meanwhile, the passage of the Localism Act 2011 saw the devolution from Whitehall to local authorities of both the power and responsibility to make local development happen.
But the lack of government funds means councils and local authority pension funds have to lead this revolution. While councils have the powers and often the land, the pension funds have the money. Future Homes Commission during their visit to Derwenthorpe