National housing emergency sees formation of new AAPG

A new All-Party Parliamentary Group for Housing and Planning has been formed to address the national housing emergency, supported by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The APPG for Housing and Planning, previously chaired by Tim Yeo MP, will be chaired by James Cartlidge, Conservative MP for South Suffolk, and tasked with recommending wide-ranging, innovative solutions to reshape the housing market: increasing the housing stock for both rental and private ownership, and speeding up building of sustainable housing in the UK, which now faces an annual shortfall of 130,000 homes.

The APPG will consist of MPs from a range of urban and rural constituencies. Cartlidge will be supported by four vice-chairs; Mark Prisk MP (Conservative MP for Hertford and Stortford and former Housing Minister), Helen Hayes MP (Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood and former Town Planner), Lord Richard Best (Cross Bench MP and President of the Local Government Association) and Stephen Pound MP (Labour MP for Ealing North).

RICS, which comprises over 90,000 professionals in the UK working across the construction, land and property markets, will support the group as secretariat.

James Cartlidge MP said: “Housing is increasingly becoming one of the most critical policy challenges facing local and national government, and with a Housing Bill pending, it is likely to become more political and controversial.

“In this context, a cross-party Parliamentary group focused objectively on the national policy challenge of housing offers a vehicle for taking the debate forward in a way that is both positive and constructive.

“Having spent my working life in the shared ownership housing sector, I am acutely aware of the challenges facing first time buyers, particularly in London. Equally, as a rural MP, I recognise the need for development to be sustainable.

“Ultimately, there are a whole raft of complex issues in housing and planning today but I hope that our APPG can make a real contribution to the debate.”

Sean Tompkins, RICS chief executive, added: “We currently need to build in the region of 245,000 homes every year if we are to address the UK’s housing crisis, but the solutions we need must be innovative and wide-ranging, but also grounded within a political framework which allows them to be implemented.

“A coherent housing strategy is also central to many other key issues for the country; a decent roof over your head can enhance your health, academic achievement, job success and social inclusion.

“Our Royal Charter and public interest mandate makes our institution well placed to provide the framework for the constructive debates and broad conversations that must happen across the political spheres in order to develop the solutions we need. Our expertise, research and market data will all be made available to the Group. The RICS believes there are solutions to be found and we look forward to assisting this new APPG with its valuable agenda.”

Originally formed under the last Parliament, the APPG for Housing and Planning will look to deliver its first set of recommendations later this year.

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