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Policy Proposition – Housing and Communities – An affordable answer to the housing shortage by implementing – “Low Impact Permanent Settlement” (LIPS) Ashley Burns

May 2008

What is the Policy Problem? What is needed is the creation of a new housing sub sector. This affordable sector would

allow more social accommodation units to be created and drive costs down for first time private buyer allowing a buyer to actually save for a deposit during this period. The basic principles work for sectors, however bespoke schemes would have to be prepared separately for the social and the private buyer sectors.

There is currently a shortage of housing both at a social level and at private level. A lot of

social housing was sold off and became private and this stock was never replenished. Again, Government and Councils do not provide social housing directly, but through Trusts, who then run the housing stock on a commercial basis. This entrepreneurial spirit means only viable schemes will proceed, and no risk is taken, in really providing the maximum stock.

At the private end of the scale, the first time buyer has been priced out of the market. Some

brave or foolish individuals were allowed to take on mortgages up to five times their income in order to take this first step, but not everyone is prepared or able to take on this risk. Recently the lenders themselves do not want to take on such risk, so even the bravest first time buyer is now both priced out of the market and restrained financially by the banking community. If people cannot afford to get onto the housing ladder, there is no forward momentum further up the chain, so House Builders start to hold out on providing new homes. House prices are high because there is a shortage of units and the current conditions will allow stock to dwindle further, forcing prices to rise or sustain themselves even though the economy is on a downturn.

On the social side there is less housing stock available than required. On the private side it

is an almost impossible task to get onto the property ladder. Therefore it is important to establish a new market to house and accommodate people. What is required is a new sub category situated below the brick and mortar market. This is the canvas market, which I have named Low Impact Permanent Settlement. Mainly associated with temporary stays or holiday accommodation, I would like to bring this type of accommodation into the mainstream. The low impact has many explanations: Low price per unit, low carbon footprint, low cost per unit to run, low eco impact and a low scar to the land if change of use has to occur. By provision of legal sites there is also the lowering of social problems and lowering of budgets for the fight against this problem.

Often shunned by society and quickly dispersed by local authorities tented communities

have never had an opportunity to get established. No one has ever accessed the low eco impact this type of living or even given it credit for what it is.

Low Impact Permanent Settlement

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