Lucy Roper’s weekly Built Environment news round-up: January 24, 2019

Posted on: 24 January, 2019

Each week, UCEM Information Governance Manager, Lucy Roper reports on the latest news stories from the Built Environment.

This week, Lucy draws our attention to the UK’s housing crisis and ponders solutions, including a pioneering action in the US which could have wider ramifications for housing elsewhere…

UK residential market struggling

A plethora of obstacles – affordability of houses, lack of houses, Brexit uncertainty and rising interest rates – is getting in the way of the UK housing market flourishing. The latest housing market forecast by RICS dissects the issues in further detail.

Breaking Bed-fordshire: A growth opportunity

Set against such challenges as cited by RICS in the link above, property experts need to work harder than ever to boost the ailing market and one such potential area which could signal an uplift in sales, albeit it locally, is Bedfordshire.

One of the world’s leading property agents, Savills sets out its rationale for anointing this home county as a potential growth area moving forwards.

Advocating affordability

It’s all well and good identifying areas which are ripe for housebuilding and growth but affordability remains an issue for many in the UK who are wanting to step onto the property ladder.

Independent social change organisation, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has responded to the government’s Social Housing Green Paper, pointing out that there must be a plan to increase the supply of social housing with affordable rent for families on low incomes.

It seems that, despite the challenging climate, there are solutions to the UK’s housing crisis but much rests on the actions of those with enough power to effect significant change. An example of one such action can be found across the pond…

Microsoft’s ambitious affordable housing scheme

Your first port of call when seeking to see major changes in housing would typically be government but, with corporations becoming ever more powerful, it’s possible their public CSR could extend to housing too.

In America, Microsoft has announced that it is investing $500m into affordable housing as Global Construction Review reports. This is a pretty extraordinary initiative and in the UK, where global behemoths such as Amazon, Google and Starbucks have been criticised in the past for their tax contributions, similar initiatives could do wonders for their brand, as well as help solve this growing national issue. Food for thought.

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For more from Lucy, take a look at the latest edition of Knowledge Foundations.