Government launches National Housing and Planning Advice Unit

The government has launched a National Housing and Planning Advice Unit to provide independent advice on improving housing market affordability.

The Unit will help strengthen the housing market evidence base and analysis currently available to the regional planning bodies.

This will help to ensure that new homes identified in regional plans have a positive impact in improving housing affordability.

The board members are Stephen Nickell, professor Glen Bramley, Bob Lane, professor Paul Cheshire, Dr Peter Williams and Max Steinberg.

The board took up its role from November 1 and the appointments are for three years.

Housing and planning minister Yvette Cooper says: “The new unit will have a key role in offering advice and support to the regions in their work to ensure that new homes improve housing affordability.

“The board members have an impressive calibre and a wide range of expertise in housing and economics which they will use to steer the work of the unit.”

The NHPAU has been set up in response to one of the key recommendations in Kate Barker’s Review of Housing Supply, which found that during the last 30 years of the 20th century housebuilding rates halved whereas demand for new homes increased by a third.

This has led to a shortage of homes in some areas and corresponding increase in house prices.

The board appointments have been made in accordance with the Code of Practice of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.