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Whitehall says simplified LA housing need calculator to stay

General - New Housing

The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government is to push ahead with its proposed method of calculating local authorities’ housing need, despite a consultation which found only 28% of 1,125 respondents agreed with it. To soften the blow to LAs who have already made progress in the creation of five-year assessments of housing need "transitional arrangements" will allow provide some phasing in of the rules.

While no figures were published detailing the number of respondents who opposed the proposed method of calculating housing need - the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government believes it is the most appropriate method and will tick its key three boxes of being simple, realistic and based on publicly available data. The position was made clear in the MHCLG's response to the 'Planning for the right homes in the right places' consultation.

Consultees raised concerns over the use of ONS data to calculate future demand, the simplicity of an adjustment method to be used for building homes in less affordable areas and the use of a cap on the level of increase an authority should plan for.

Other outcomes included a positive view on multiple local authorities being allowed to assess their housing needs jointly, providing they have adopted a joint local plan or a joint spatial development strategy.

There was also strong support for the idea of ensuring local plans identify the infrastructure and affordable housing needed, how this will be funded and the contributions developers are expected to pay. In addition the government plans to amend the Community Infrastructure Levy regulations so local authorities would have to publish an infrastructure funding statement to monitor the money received and spent by developers.

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