Affordable housing: Overcoming crisis through collaboration

London has been in the midst of an affordable housing crisis for decades – and in 2022 the landscape is more complex than ever.

Construction costs are at a 40 year high and the UK faces a labour shortage of skilled construction workers. As a result, new housing delivery is slowing down. The sector is also under pressure to address climate change via retrofit because, whilst progress has been made, homes still contribute over 27% of the UK’s total carbon emissions per year.

On top of this, there has been a succession of emerging issues that need an urgent response from housing practitioners. This includes new fire safety standards, changing building regulations, Brexit, and the fall-out from Covid – from rising housing inequities to changing lifestyle patterns.

To deliver the homes London, and other cities, need the sector must work differently. We must develop approaches that better address these interrelated issues in the round.

If we fail to do this, then life will get worse for many households across the UK: homelessness is already rising year on year, predicted energy price increases will disproportionately impact those on lower incomes, and failure to address climate change through retrofit will have the greatest impact on marginalised communities. 

Building on a panel discussion with Rickardo Hyatt, Barbara Brownlee, and Peter Denton at the end of 2020, this programme will explore how – against a backdrop of urgent and competing priorities – re-evaluating our current approach to collaboration is critical.

Through cross-sector dialogue, Future of London will draw out practical ways for those involved in housing, regeneration, infrastructure and economic development to address these critical challenges in a holistic, viable and sustainable way.

The affordable housing crisis in numbers 

21%  increase in construction materials for new housing in 2021 [1]
25% of construction firms reported a shortage of skilled workers last year [2]
58.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide produced by UK residential properties per annum – making homes more polluting than all of the country’s car emissions [3]
11 million  people may be living in homes with unsafe cladding [4]
31% of British adults reported physical or mental health problems because of poor housing conditions in lockdown [5]

Get involved

Our research programme will kick off with an industry survey and focus groups, followed by an events calendar of inspiring field trips, senior-level round tables, and thought-provoking panel discussions. To be the first to hear about upcoming events, subscribe to our mailing list.

And for more information on this project, or to take part in our research, please contact Anna Odedun.

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