A report by the think tank Centre for Cities was published yesterday which generated strong headlines and made a clear link between house-building and economic vitality in major urban areas.
Cities Outlook 2013 calls for more flexibility for local councils in these areas to develop ways of supporting house-building or improvements, which could plug the shortfall in the supply of homes the country needs (currently said to be running at more than 100,000 a year). Its research suggests that meeting this gap could create 150,000 new jobs and add 1% to national economic growth rates, making most of us a winner in the process.
Information within the report could be harnessed by those working in cities to make the case for investment in housing. Bristol and Reading feature in the list of 10 such areas highlighted as being able to deliver growth through building new homes. It’s good to see a credible piece of work emerge which puts housing centre stage and highlights a range of measures which can be applied to suit particular circumstances.
Also of interest was the call for investment from the Get Britain Building fund in high growth areas. The welcome news is that, on the day this report was published, a £12m investment through Get Britain Building was also being announced in Bristol Harbourside.
I’m happy to report that this made some headlines too.