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Š RIBA

It needs leadership. Local authorities, companies, professional bodies and government must each embrace their responsibilities and take action, not wait for someone else to make the first move. It needs creativity and fresh thinking. In particular, everyone involved must change the way they talk with consumers and communities, to start to shift perceptions at the same time as making tangible improvements such as designing better homes. Local communities themselves need to think anew about housebuilding and consider the wider social and economic benefits. In rural areas, getting involved in the planning of a high quality development may help a town or village grow and prosper; unthinking opposition could lead to decline. Councils are central. They have the community relationships, powers and assets to secure sustainable, sought-after communities. Local authority pension funds should kick-start the whole process by creating a ÂŁ10 billion Local Housing Development Fund, benefiting their investors, local communities and the economy. UK and International investors are eager to invest in UK residential property for rent, if only there were communities in which to invest. The prospect of a virtuous circle emerging is entirely realistic: local authority investment in communities which include betterdesigned homes for rent produces better investment returns for their pension funds and lower costs for taxpayers; this in turn encourages more local housing choice and better design of houses for sale, generating local economic growth; this promotes further investment by institutions buying out the local authority and sustaining the process. The economic benefits would be great. Across the country the Commission has encountered the inspiration and determination that is needed to build these homes and communities. Housing developers, councils, architects, landowners and investors are already demonstrating what can be done. 81

Future Homes Commission Report  

Future Homes Commission Report

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