£9m For Rooftop Homes As Overcrowding Surges

Fri 1 Feb 2019
Issue 19 cover

James Brokenshire’s £9m to crane in 78 new homes on to rooftops in London is welcome and it’s the latest idea from a Housing Ministry seriously taking on the housing challenge. It comes on top of the £500m promised for new ‘strategic partnerships’ between housing associations and Homes England as the minister admitted: ‘There’s no question that we need to raise our game urgently.’

And in response to official figures released today showing that overcrowding in social housing is at its highest since records began, Polly Neate, Shelter CEO, currently running a campaign to boost social housing said: ‘It’s no coincidence that the number of people trapped in expensive and unstable private renting is still high, while the supply of new social homes has become almost frozen.’

But Kate Henderson, the chief executive of the National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations, welcomed the announcement, saying that the tie-ups with Homes England were an 'innovative approach to building new homes'.

What does it mean for design and planning?
Government is consulting on new Permitted Development Rights – planning rules suggesting that buildings can be extended upwards without planning permission.

The sites earmarked for the new rooftop properties by the 'airspace development pioneer’, Apex Airspace, will be built in Tooting, Wanstead, Walthamstow, Putney and Wallington. The £9m is for the homes to be built offsite, so they can be craned on to site. It follows on from HTA Design’s 2016 study claiming that London had the capacity for 140,000 rooftop homes. 

Cover image: Gizmodo

Until next week. Please make sure to send in your ideas to info@designnetwork.org.uk
Author: Jane Briginshaw, Design England

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