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Welcome to Thinkhouse


Thinkhouse.org.uk was launched in Spring 2017 and holds a library of the best and most innovative research pieces, policy publications and case studies that propose ways to increase the amount and quality of the UK's housing stock and the related economic, social and community benefits of doing this. Scroll down to read about how we curate the reports or click on the links above.  If you are interested in some 'bite size facts' about issues in the news please scroll down.








Thinkhouse.org.uk

The site is curated by an independent editorial panel. They select publications to showcase in the annual sections, review and write the brief introductory headlines and help develop and publicise the site. The Ed Panel base their decision on the quality of the research and how innovative and practical the pieces are.  The objective is to provide easy access to a few key reports.  These will help inform policy makers who are engaged in understanding how we can build more and better homes and communities, improve knowledge transfer and provide evidence/ideas to drive decision making. The Editorial Panel will also write a short review for many of the selected reports.  The Repository section holds reports that have not yet been assessed or were not selected to be included in the annual sections.  

The site has no ties to or funding from any interest or political group and reports are selected solely on merit. If you think we add value please help share what we are doing , suggest reports we should cover and submit your own reviews.

The Editorial Panel

The panel manage Thinkhouse

Our Ed. Panel have a mix of skills, backgrounds and experience in housing. They share a desire to see more and better homes built. The panel is chaired by Thinkhouse's founder Richard Hyde. Click on the drop down link under 'About' to view panel members. 

The latest addition to the site

Local authority direct provision of housing NPF and RTPI

This report published in December 2017 has been included in the Repository section and awaits assessment and possible review from the Editorial Panel.

Contact us

The easiet way to get hold of us

info@thinkhouse.org.uk and on twitter @thinkhouseinfo.

'Bite size facts'

 From recent reports (please check the source before quoting)

Borrowing

DCLG v Treasury

One of the more imaginative ideas in 2017 was on borrowing from Respublica’s proposal for a National Housing Fund.  This would boost housing supply by utilising the government’s ability to borrow money at historically low rates. It calls for £100bn of investment over ten years which would build 40,000 more rental homes per annum. This would all be done without adding to the deficit. The money is invested in homes for rent, managed by housing associations (who also own a share of the fund). Rents are used to repay interest costs and management costs

Homelessness

The NAO report 2017

£1.15bn spent byLocal Authorities on homelessness in 15-16. 77k households in temp accom with 60% rise in households in temporary accomodation since 2011. Homelessness more likley in areas with the least affordable housing; ie wide regional variations. Ending of private sector shorthold tenancies is main cause of homelssness. Rising from 11% to 32% in last seven years. Private rent accom cost x3 than earnings. In London the rise is x8. Local housing allowance cap (LHA) may have also contributed. Local authortites struggle to house homelessness due to fall in number of social hosuing and spending on preventing it

Generation rent

Resolution  Foundation report 2017

Today’s thirty year olds are only half as likely to own their home as the baby boomers. Young people today are four times as likely to rent privately than they were two generations ago. Families often house their adult children – but increasingly not their parents'. Generation on generation, housing costs have absorbed a larger share of family income with significant living standards effects. Housing stock quality has improved, but the young are making compromises on space and commuting. Even in a best-case scenario millennials will not achieve the same home ownership levels the baby boomers enjoy. Housing is a majoritarian concern – but it is young people who are at the sharp end of the housing crisis

Ageing population

LGA report 2017

The LGA along with Housing LIN produced in Housing our Ageing Population offered some useful statistics and best practice case studies. The number of people aged over 65 is forecast to rise over the next decade, from the current 11.7 million people, to 14.3 million by 2025, a 22 per cent rise. This means that one in five of the total population will be over 65 in 10 years’ time, which will become one in four by 2050. In the UK, the vast majority of over 65s currently live in the mainstream housing market. Only 0.6 per cent of over 65s live in housing with care, which is 10 times less than in more mature retirement housing markets such as the USA and Australia, where over 5 per cent of over 65s live in housing with care. The suitability of the housing stock is of critical importance to the health of individuals and also impacts on the demand for public spending, particularly social care and the NHS

Homelessness

Crisis report 2017

The number of single people who experience homelessness in England each year is around 200,000, with a minimum estimate of 120,000 and a maximum of 345,000.The average number of single people experiencing some form of homelessness on any one night is estimated to be 77,000 – with a low estimate of 50,000 and a high estimate of 110,000.Around two-thirds of single homeless people have support needs that mean their immediate destination should be some form of housing with tailored support such as supported housing or a Housing First solution. The rest have no acute support needs and the primary barrier to ending their homelessness is housing.75,000 single people with low or no support needs experience homelessness each year, with a minimum estimate of 40,000 and a maximum estimate of 140,000.The average number of single people with low or no support needs who are homeless on any one night is 26,000, with a low estimate of 17,000 and a high estimate of 38,000.Social lettings to single homeless people in England fell from 19,000 a year in 2007-8 to 13,000 in 2015-16. The proportion of new lettings to single homeless people relative to the number of new lettings overall has fallen disproportionately, from 12% to 8% of all new lettings over the same period.This drop is due to changes in policy on the allocation of social housing, alongside problems caused by the reducing affordability of social housing, restrictions on housing benefit entitlement, and housing providers’ response to these.

Housing supply v demand

NAO report 2017

Since the 1980s, demand for housing in England has increased. Housebuilding, however, has not kept pace with demand. Public sector housebuilding has fallen and the number of homes added by the private sector has been vulnerable to both economic recessions and the cost of finance to potential homeowners. Between 2001 and 2010, an average of 144,000 new homes were completed annually: 100,000 fewer per year than in the 1970s. For housebuilding to match future need, it must increase in most parts of the country; this is particularly acute in London. Projections suggest that at least 227,000 new households will be formed each year between 2011 and 2021. This is substantially higher than the annual average of 166,000 extra homes in England over the last 10 years (paragraphs 1.9 to 1.11 and Figures 4 and 5). Since 1981, the number of owner-occupied homes in England has increased from almost 10.5 million in 1981 to 14.7 million in 2015. In 2015, there were almost 5 million private rented homes, up from 2 million in 1981. In contrast, the number of local authority and housing association homes for rent has fallen, from 5.5 million in 1981 to 4 million in 2015.