Housing and Urban Regeneration Blogs

Why no more Bluewaters, Eric?

Why no more Bluewaters, Eric?

Policy Exchange Director of Communications Nick Faith writes arguing that the best way to support the high street is not to discriminate against out of town malls. He makes the case from our report 21st Century Retail Policy that radical action is required to help high streets, including replacing poor performing councils with a management team of retail experts tasked with reinvigorating ailing high streets and allowing empty shops to be converted more easily into housing.

Autumn Statement 2013: why we need a freeze on business rates

Autumn Statement 2013: why we need a freeze on business rates

Ahead of the Autumn Statement, Alex Morton, Head of Housing and Planning at Policy Exchange, calls for a freeze on business rates to help our ailing high streets. Alex shows that average bills are now £14,000, which is driving many small firms out of business and acting as a barrier to start-ups.

Garden cities can be wonders of our age

Garden cities can be wonders of our age

Ahead of the launch of the Wolfson Prize for Economics, Lord Simon Wolfson writes that inspired new garden cities in the countryside could be the answer to the UK’s housing crisis, and explains why he is launching this £250,000 prize to find the best way to build one.

Boris needs to get a grip on housing

Boris needs to get a grip on housing

Alex Morton, Policy Exchange’s Head of Housing and Planning, takes the Mayor to task over his failure to build enough homes to support London’s growing population, which at just 16,000 new homes in the last year is only 30% of the Mayor’s self-imposed annual target of 50,000.

Local control is key to quality

Local control is key to quality

Alex Morton, Policy Exchange’s Head of Housing & Planning, argues that central planning guidance is responsible for the poor aesthetic quality of new housing, which is in turn negatively impacting the desire for new, local, development. By giving local people control over the quality of new housing, Alex believes that we will see opposition to new homes fall away.

How the Government can boost housing between now and 2015

How the Government can boost housing between now and 2015

Alex Morton, Policy Exchange’s Head of Housing & Planning, sets out a range of ways the government could start providing more homes, including: helping people to self-build, ending expensive social tenancies, ending expensive social tenancies, trying to treat those near new homes fairly, creating new powers to help quality and ensuring Help-to-Buy has an exit strategy.

Homes – localist policies can deliver the houses we need

Homes – localist policies can deliver the houses we need

Giving local people more control over local developments could help solve the housing crisis and help the Conservatives win the next election, writes Alex Morton, Head of Housing & Planning at Policy, By engaging with this growing social and economic crisis, the government could build hundreds of thousands of good quality homes without isolating local people.

How to tackle Britain’s NIMBYs and end crisis in new house building

How to tackle Britain’s NIMBYs and end crisis in new house building

Alex Morton, Head of Housing & Planning at Policy Exchange, writes that in order to tackle NIMBYism and to build more homes we need to give back more control to local people over the quality of homes built in their areas and to offer neighbourhood incentives such as council tax rebates to residents who allow developments to go ahead.

Housing bubble threat underscores pressing need to revise Help to Buy

Housing bubble threat underscores pressing need to revise Help to Buy

Alex Morton, Head of Policy Exchange’s Housing & Planning Unit, suggests that instead of being a cause for celebration, the news that house prices are rising at their fastest since 2006 underscores the pressing need to revise Help to Buy. By guaranteeing purchases of any home up to £600,000 for three years, he argues, the Government is offering short-term support to developers instead of a long-term solution to the problems facing the housing market and the increasing demand for affordable housing.

Striking the right balance in the social housing sector

Striking the right balance in the social housing sector

Alex Morton, Policy Exchange’s Head of Housing & Planning, congratulates Housing Minister Mark Prisk for striking a sensible balance between supporting the social housing sector and requiring that it uses its assets in a fair and efficient way, but reiterates his call from Ending Expensive Social Tenancies for councils to sell off the most expensive council housing when it becomes vacant and use the proceeds to build new, better quality social housing.

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