About

 

The Pro-Housing Alliance is an alliance of organisations and individuals who believe that housing is a key social determinant of health.  Health inequality cannot be addressed unless there is access to housing that is both truly affordable and healthy.  It is a prerequisite for good public health, including public mental health. The Pro-Housing Alliance is open to discussion with, and willing to work with all organisations and individuals that subscribe to that view, and who can give general support to the following key policy aims: –

  1. An increase in the supply of genuinely affordable and environmentally efficient homes to 500,000 per year for seven years – to be achieved by a combination of: new build on greenfield site, new build on brownfield sites, changes of use of some current non-residential buildings to housing, bringing into use homes currently empty, bringing to a decent and green standard existing sub-standard homes in all sectors of housing [with specific emphasis on the four latter supply forms in view of the necessity to minimise the use of greenfield sites].
  2. A radical, expert and broad-based rethink of the 1947 ‘Planning’ and land taxation system (the points at 1 depend on addressing some of the problems and blockages inherent in the 1947 system) – this includes new community-oriented land development mechanisms such as CLTs[1], the maintenance of mixed communities and emission-minimising land use configerations, the consideration of a development land tax geared to re-couping a higher proportion of the values created by zoning, development constents and publicly funded infrastructure. This is more than is included in both the Government’s housing strategy (Laying the Foundations: A Housing Strategy for England) and draft National Planning Policy Framework.
  3. A radical approach to addressing conditions in the existing housing stock particularly for those most vulnerable. This includes more effective interventions in the private rented sector to ensure in particular that irresponsible private landlords are squeezed out of the market.  Increased independent living for disabled and older people, also requires that that their homes more fully meet their needs.
  4. Introduction of a set of mechanisms (including the increase in supply) to ensure that house prices and rents do not ‘spike’ as they have in the past and that for a significant future period house prices rise more slowly than earnings so as gradually to improve affordability.
  5. A move away from the use of equity based welfare[2] – this is not sustainable.
  6. To shift the bulk of housing support back to historic supply/demand ratios by prioritising supply side measures.
  7. Housing policy must be based equally on principles of social equity and economic efficiency and must be developed in a firm framework of relevant evidence and rational argument
  8. The need for more precise use of language  for example an evidence-based use of terms such as ‘affordable’ and a statutory definition of ‘overcrowded’ that is consistent with the HHSRS and modern health and lifestyle expectations

Support is welcomed from any organisation or individual, that has concerns about the way housing policy has developed in recent years no matter what its core business, and which recognizes the fundamental role of housing in a healthier society. Signing up to the Alliance in no way limits issues on which individual organisations may wish to act or campaign.

The PHA will, within the resources available, lobby, organise seminars, issue briefing papers, commission studies and support organisations that share its values.

Currently the PHA is organised by a core group drawn from the original signatories to the PHA Statement published in September 2011 and is available on the PHA website. If you wish to register general support for the PHA please e-mail Stephen Battersby (PHA Chair) via the website.



[1] CLTs – Community Land Trusts see Section 79 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 and http://www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk/home

[2] That is, homeownership has become increasingly important as a financial asset used for welfare needs; using housing equity to fund care in older age and education by way of secured loans and other expenditure.  This approach contributes to house price inflation, but also means those with no such equity have lesser provision to meet care needs, leading to a further inequalities and a fragmentation of society. In Europe it is only in the UK that households have adopted mortgage equity release products to cash in their housing equity for welfare needs.

 

1.    A radical, expert and broad-based rethink of the 1947 ‘Planning’ and land taxation system (the points at 1 depend on addressing some of the problems and blockages inherent in the 1947 system) – this includes new community-oriented land development mechanisms such as CLTs[1], the maintenance of mixed communities and emission-minimising land use configerations, and consideration of adevelopment land value tax geared to re-couping a higher proportion of the values created by zoning, development consents and publicly funded infrastructure. This is more than is included in both the Government’s housing strategy (Laying the Foundations: A Housing Strategy for England) and draft National Planning Policy Framework



[1]CLTs – Community Land Trusts see Section 79 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 and http://www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk/home