A new housing supply strategy

The Department for Communities is developing a new Housing Supply Strategy, as part of the Minister’s comprehensive and ambitious programme of work to increase housing supply and address housing stress. The strategy is intended to provide a long term framework for the development of policy, interventions and action plans to deliver the right homes in the right locations, to help meet current and foreseeable housing needs and demands. As such, it is anticipated that the strategy will make a major contribution to the achievement of strategic outcomes as described in the draft Programme for Government outcomes framework, New Decade New Approach and the Department’s strategic plan, ‘Building Inclusive Communities’.

Our approach to developing the supply strategy

The foundation of the strategy will be guided by the vision that every household should have access to a good quality, affordable and sustainable home that is appropriate for its needs.

Key to delivering this vision will be ensuring that development of the strategy is supported by a strong evidence base to provide a robust platform for the development and implementation of a series of interventions which will help increase housing supply and ultimately reduce housing stress. It will also respond to the changing social and economic environment we are experiencing, as a result of a number of factors, including the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

We must also recognise that there is no single challenge (or problem) affecting housing supply here. Instead, housing supply faces a number of related and interdependent challenges, which, in combination, mean we are not always able to provide the right type of homes, in the right place, at the right time.

We have therefore proposed that the Supply Strategy takes a ‘whole system’ view which recognises the complex and interconnected nature of housing supply, with many of the challenges to delivering more social and intermediate housing, similar to those to increasing housing supply more broadly.

Crucially, the whole system approach emphasises the central role of people, places and communities in considering our housing needs and demands. With this approach in mind, the strategy will recognise that housing supply is about more than just bricks and mortar, but rather encompasses issues such as affordability, accessibility, sustainability, quality and security of tenure – all of which can mean different things to different people. It will also focus on how increasing the provision of the right homes in the right locations can contribute to creation and maintenance of vibrant, attractive and sustainable communities where people want to live. 

Co-design

The strategy will be co-designed, with stakeholders, partners and citizens all encouraged to be involved in its development. Development of the strategy will also involve departmental cross-cutting collaboration and policy co-ordination that will allow consideration of all policy areas impacting on housing supply.

Timeframe

Work on developing a new strategy began in 2020 despite the constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The timescale for the development is challenging given the current circumstances, but the intention is for the delivery of the final strategy by the end of the current mandate (Spring 2022).

Call for evidence

The first key step in the development of the Housing Supply Strategy was a Call for Evidence, which closed on 16 July 2021. All documents relating to the Call for Evidence can be found at:

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