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ROOM TO GROW

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ROOM TO GROW

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  1. ROOM TO GROW Solving the (affordable) housing problem in the Inner Moray Firth. Creative Solutions/Options for Action Di Alexander 23/02/05

  2. 4 Main Problems • Market-led, affordable supply failure • Effective land supply shortages and Planning system restrictions • Infrastructure provision constraints • Strategic public investment weaknesses

  3. Causes of Supply Failure • Supply too small + demand too great = rocketing prices (37% up in 2004) • Because property is best investment - big windfall gains - reliable pension fund - good little earner/better than stock market • Area very attractive to outsiders

  4. Solutions to Supply Failure • Build more houses – mostly affordable ones • Fiscal reforms “to put boundaries on people’s financial expectations” • Encourage in-migration with new housing policies

  5. Causes of Land Supply Shortages • “Land supply is key constraint to increasing housing supply” • “Planning system restrictions are main constraints on land use for housing” - zoning system favours up-market housing - “effective” land supply too restricted - Housing in Countryside policy ditto - Affordable Housing Quota system could be better - Planning Permission process too onerous

  6. Solutions to Land Supply Shortages • We are not short of land in the Highlands • Planning system land use emphasis should prioritise affordable housing position • Meantime use SPP3 to the full - designate more sites as “affordable” - zone more “effective” land in Local Plans - use Exceptions Sites policy more readily - locally responsive quota system/beware PAN74 - make PP process simple and very user friendly

  7. Causes of Infrastructure Constraints • Scottish Water unable to deliver - basic programming information - level of investment required - joined up plans with key partners • SEPA’s requirements can be OTT • As can Roads Depts (e.g. 4 house rule) • And other agencies

  8. Infrastructure Constraints Solutions • Greater local influence over SW progs • Much bigger local budget required • Economic, stand-alone WWT systems • Relax 4 house rule • Better partnership working and planning

  9. Causes of Strategic Public Investment Weaknesses • £25m still isn’t enough! • Too few LCHO opportunties - to satisfy demand - to make overall market work better - to get bigger bang for the public buck • Subsidy-leaking LCHO methods • Lack of Joined-up investment • Too little investment in sustainability e.g. timber

  10. Solutions to Strategic Public Investment Weaknesses • How much investment is enough? £50m? • 50/50 split on rented HA and LCHO will increase affordable housing supply • All LCHO methods should lock in subsidy - e.g. Rural Housing Burdens - new shared equity model • Scottish Ministers must sort out SW issues • Prioritise investment in sustainable development