‘Give tenants designs on new social housing’ says LGA chair

Lord Porter sees ‘self-build’ as the future for social housing – with tenants getting a say.

Housing green paper

LGA chair Lord Porter says ‘self-build’ is the future for social housing, with future tenants having designs on the design of up to 100,000 new homes and building regulation the only criteria.

Next week, the chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to confirm that from as soon as next month councils will no longer have to doff a borrowing cap to housebuilding.

Porter wants to push for bolder – councils directly working with tenants on design rather than councils simply commissioning volume housebuilders.

To Porter, between 10% and 30% of the new council-built homes – some of which could be for shared ownership as well as affordable and market rent – should incorporate elements of self-building, although tenants will not be expected to dig their own foundations or lay their own bricks.

“Let’s let people design the (what) they want to live in,” said Porter

“Do we really care if our house is red brick, yellow brick, black tiles, yellow tiles? I don’t care.

“The price for that is some people will build stuff we don’t like – but if it meets building regulations, that’s all we need to care about.

“If it’s a brave new world, why don’t we just let people do it?

“Companies like Taylor Wimpey would love us just to put up three-bedroom boxes but these houses are going to be there for 100 years,” Porter said.

The government has set a target of building 300,000 homes a year.

Last year private housebuilders completed 159,310 units. Housing associations built 32,320 and councils just 3,280, altogether just over 100,000 short of the target.

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