Housing strategy lacks detail say architects

16/02/2022

The Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) has released it’s official response to the draft housing supply strategy by the Department for Communities.

The response strongly supports the development of a clear strategy but identifies three main concerns in regards to the vision shown in this draft. These were:

  • The target of ‘upwards of 100,000 homes’ over 15 years is unnecessarily vague – Whilst the target number may need to be adjusted over the course of the strategy period as a result of updated Housing Growth Indicators, the response suggests it is better to set out with a clear and ambitious target pointing out that In the last fifteen years 126,172 housing units have been completed and, during this period, demand has clearly outstripped supply.
  • The vision has insufficient focus on addressing and responding to climate change. Whilst this issue is covered in the Objectives, RSUA is calling for clearer inclusion and/or the higher prioritisation of the following elements in the Vision:
    • By the end of the strategy period that all new housing will be net zero carbon
    • Carbon emissions from existing homes will be greatly reduced
    • Embodied carbon in new homes will be greatly reduced
    • Homes will be designed, built and adapted to be suitable for the changed and changing climate
  • The vision could be strengthened by clearly stating broadly where the vast majority of new homes should be delivered over the next 15 years – the response calls for new homes to primarily be delivered within the existing development footprint for sustainability reasons. It recommends that the strategy should have a clear focus on development within hamlets, villages, towns and cities, as against developments on peripheral green field sites and one-off homes in the countryside, both of which lock in car dependence.

DfC has stated the final Housing Supply Strategy will be published in March 2022.