Using funding from the Nationwide Foundation, Demos (a cross-party think tank) undertook research to explore the theory that giving communities more power over local housing development can help to get more homes built. This work included investigating the barriers facing community-led housing models and how effectively these barriers are being overcome.
The findings of the research were launched in December 2015 in a report, entitled Community Builders. Headline findings, were that:
- Widespread local opposition to house building (‘NIMBYism’) is not inevitable. Rather than being motivated by selfish, financial concerns, most opposition is born out of genuine concern for the community and a lack of transparency and trust in the planning process
- Councils in the North of England are much more likely to approve new housing development, and in a much faster time, than those in the South – where the shortage of supply is most acute
- Community-led housing schemes could help to solve the national housing crisis, by encouraging greater local ownership over house-building.
Demos has called on the government to support local authorities to do more to tackle the UK’s housing crisis, by encouraging community-led developments and pushing for greater transparency in decision-making.
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