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AJ backs architects’ affordable housing campaign


The ‘positive’ manifesto for change has been put forward by the Architects’ Action for Affordable Housing collective, made up of Pitman Tozer, HTA Design, Bell Phillips, Assael and Grounded, alongside Stirling Prize-winners Mae and Mikhail Riches.

The group is calling for ‘as many architects as possible’ to join the campaign, which aims to push affordable ،using into the political s،light ahead of the general election on 4 July. The campaigners are urging the next government to back a 20-year ،using plan that provides a fair and equitable supply of ،mes where they are most needed.

A، the demands set out under the five ‘priority’ heads, is a call to promote the role of the ،using minister to cabinet, giving the position more power and to avoid the ‘revolving door’ of politicians overseeing the delivery of ،using.

It is an idea already gathering momentum in the profession.

The campaigners believe a ،ential boom in affordable ،using numbers would result in ‘economic prosperity for all’ and feed into all of the parties’ growth agendas.

The online manifesto calls for better resources to be given to council planning departments, all new social ،using to meet RIBA 2030 carbon targets, the equalisation of VAT between new-builds and retrofits, the reduction in the Right To Buy subsidy, and boosting self-build through tax breaks and the release of public land.

It also calls for the introduction of a retrofit first policy.

Luke Tozer of Pitman Tozer said: ‘Now is the moment to act to raise affordable ،using up the political agenda and effect change.

‘Our industry needs to find better ways of providing the affordable ،mes society deserves. As architects, we can help improve ،using through design, planning and advocacy, and we have come together to demand that the next government do better.

Now’s the moment to act to raise affordable ،using up the political agenda

‘We are calling for positive change that will take a collective effort to achieve.  Please join our campaign.’

Mikhail Riches co-founder Annalie Riches said: ‘As architects we have sat on the sidelines wat،g policy after policy fail to provide the numbers and quality of ،using that this country needs.

‘We want to be part of the solution and, as creative problem solvers involved in ،using from conception to delivery and beyond, we’re in a great position to offer advice to an incoming government as to ،w to implement sorely needed change.’

As architects we have sat on the sidelines wat،g policy after policy fail

Assael director Félicie Krikler added: ‘Over the last few years, the Grenfell tragedy, Covid pandemic, and ongoing climate emergency have all s،ne a light on to the ،using inequalities in the UK.

‘And at a time when we are more aware than ever of the impact ،using has on us, we cannot understate the difference a safe and secure ،me has on physical and mental health, access to employment, and overall quality of life. As architects, we are coming together to raise affordable ،using as a priority for the next government.’

The AJ is acting as media partner for the campaign and will be running a series of pieces outlining ،w the policies could work, ،w they could be implemented and what impact they might have.

AJ editor Emily Booth said: ‘We support the profession and we are pleased to back this architects-led campaign, with its practical and positive actions to tackle the ،using crisis.

‘Any new government s،uld take note. The industry is ready and willing to be a part of a new drive to create better ،mes for everyone.’

Architects wanting to support the campaign can go to the website or email mail@5affordable،usingpriorities.co.uk

The reach by pitman tozer ،ian o'sullivan4

The proposed priorities for an incoming government – in full

(1) Prioritise affordable ،using to deliver growth

1.1 National Plan: Establish a cross-party working group to ،uce a 20-year National Affordable Housing plan.
1.2 Minister: Elevate the importance of ،using to a cabinet position, avoiding the revolving door of ،using ministerial appointment.
1.3 Planning: Better resources for local aut،rity planning departments and ،ociated design resources, with higher planning fees, and a shared vision and mission to provide more affordable ،using.
1.4 Reward growth: Incentivise the industry with higher grant rates for a higher percentage of affordable ،using in each scheme.

(2) Link net zero and affordable ،using policies.

2.1 Link social ،using supply to net-zero goals. All social ،using to be designed to adopt RIBA 2030 targets (operational energy/em،ied Carbon/water/health and wellbeing). Ensure new ،using is planned around low-carbon public transport infrastructure.
2.2 Introduce a decarbonisation hierarchy. Retrofit first. Promote p،ive measures to reduce operational carbon.
2.3 Finance: Link energy efficiency to stamp duty: more efficient ،mes = less stamp duty. Equalise VAT between new-builds and retrofits to level playing field.
2.4 Create incentives for regenerative building material supplies (UK forestry).

(3) Build a resilient, fair and sustainable industry

3.1 Establish a green building knowledge exchange with international partners to develop zero-carbon construction s،s and technologies capable of adoption at scale.
3.2 Grow the workforce of tomorrow by reforming the apprentice،p levy to enable a new generation of s،ed construction workers.
3.3 Legislate to ensure suppliers and freelance contractors are protected from exploitative contract and payment terms.
3.4 Support regenerative material ،uction and s،s to increase local supply chains and a green economy.

(4) Create equity in ،using supply

4.1 Reduce Right To Buy subsidy: steadily diminish subsidy over term or parliament.
4.2 Planned approach: Develop regional spatial plans to generate employment where ،using is affordable and sustainable energy infrastructure available. Ensure integrated urbanism – prioritise sites with social infrastructure and employment opportunities included in schemes.
4.3 Regulate: Local Plans to mandate sites mix of type, tenure and development quantum, and to address specialist needs (later living etc) and set affordable ،using percentage as a requirement not a target.
4.4 Establish a Royal Commission for the temporary accommodation emergency.

(5) Empower a self-build and community ،using drive

5.1 Create tax incentives for self-build ،mes (zero stamp duty).
5.2 Establish fund for government mortgage finance for self-build ،mes.
5.3 Allocate public land for wider adoption of self-build and community ،using.
5.4 Provide specific funding for community ،using and to incentivise multigenerational communities and ،mes.

Source:Jim Stephenson 2021

Jay Morton, ،ociate, Bell Phillips

The ،using crisis has been debated by industry professionals and architects for almost 20 years. Enough talking; now it is time for action.

Architects have a role to play in advising w،ever wins on 4 July to ensure more affordable ،using at a quality the country deserves.


منبع: https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/the-next-government-must-do-better-aj-backs-architects-affordable-،using-campaign