''Use pension funds to build new homes''
26 October 2012
Britain could see a three-fold increase in the number of new homes being built every year – from the current 100,000 to over 300,000 – without using any public money, according to a report by the Future Homes Commission.
In 'Building the Homes and Communities Britain Needs', the commission recommended setting up a new, independently managed £10bn local housing development fund, financed by the largest local authority pension funds pooling 15 per cent of their assets to invest in new rental and shared ownership housing.
The commission also said there should be a greater focus on design in all new homes, ensuring they meet current residents' needs and making them fit for future generations. There should be a more consumer-oriented housing market, with reliable, comprehensive information available to the public. And councils should play a key role in creating sustainable communities to meet local housing needs while providing attractive investment opportunities for investors.
The commission was asked by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to look into the quality of newly built housing with the aim of understanding how people live today, what they need and expect from their homes and whether the design and delivery of new homes was fit for purpose.
Commission chairman Sir John Banham said: "There is no better time to tackle the UK housing crisis. After a year-long national inquiry, [we have] concluded [that] a housing revolution is entirely possible and will lead economic growth."
The housing minister Mark Prisk said the idea was innovative and interesting.
Should the Government be raiding pension funds to invest in ideas it thinks are good? If so why stop at Local Authority Pension Funds, why not say Private must do the same?
Surely these funds belong to the members and should be invested for their long term benefit?
m - england