As Oxfordshire receives planning permission for 20,560 new homes the NHBC have issued a report illustrating the benefits of new homes. It is structured around the findings from a survey of people who had recently moved into a new home. At the same time, new research from BRE, shows that people are increasingly focusing on energy-efficiency and sustainability when it comes to improving their home or choosing a new build property.
The BREEAM and WELL building standards have signed a collaboration deal to recognise both sustainability and wellbeing best practice in buildings. The announcement comes at a time when the real estate industry are increasingly looking at how the built environment impacts human health as well as sustainability.
In the social housing arena Civica have produced a practical guide to achieving a sustainable future called the changing landscape for social housing. With 94% of social housing providers wanting to see the government improve its housing policy, as they feel the current policy leaves them and the communities they serve at risk. Student housing has also recieved examination, with a panel of experts brought together to discuss the big issues facing the sector in relation to supply and demand.
L&Q and East Thames housing associations have merged, the combined organisation, which will be known as L&Q. It will own and manage over 90,000 homes across the UK, worth an estimated £22bn. L&Q has set itself the target of delivering 100,000 new homes, of which it says half will be “genuinely affordable to people on average and lower incomes”.
The Government is carrying out a review of the Homes and Communities Agency. Saying they are looking to develop “a leaner, more commercially astute, and more professional organisation that operates with greater agility and demonstrates best value in everything it does.” The Review is forward-looking, focused on the challenges of rising to the delivery of 1 million homes by 2020, whilst achieving administration savings of 30% by March 2020.
This review comes shortly after the Autumn budget and the announcement that £2.3bn of the National Productivity Investment Fund is allocated to unlocking sites for 100,000 new homes, by delivering roads and water connections. A further £1.4bn has been added to the £4.7bn National Affordable Housing Programme, aimed at delivering an additional 40,000 homes on top of the 153,000 already promised. And another £1.7 billion will be used to speed up the construction of new homes on public sector land. Sajid Javid outlined, at the NHBC annual lunch what government is doing to make the housing market work for everyone.
And with Ecobuild just around the corner, the overarching theme for show has been announced as regeneration, with a complete conference and seminar agenda focusing on redefining sustainability, industry growth and tackling the housing crisis.
A quick update on regulations and guidance….
BSI has issued its draft Circular Economy Framework Standard for open consultation – BS8001. The consultation will remain open until 15 January 2017. The European Commission has issued its 2016 Clean Energy Package (popularly known as the Winter Package). And new guidance from the IET promotes good practice in the specification, design and integration of connected systems in buildings.