Malthouse makes plea for quality in public housing

Thursday 16 May 2019

© Bar Productions

© Bar Productions

© Bar Productions

Housing minister Kit Malthouse made a plea for quality and more community involvement as he launched NLA’s Public Housing exhibition last night. ‘We hope that the quality of design highlighted in this exhibition will apply to the 300,000 homes we hope to build a year’, he said. ‘The huge importance of the involvement of the community is evident here’.

NLA chairman Peter Murray welcomed a full house to the private view of the Public Housing: a London renaissance show, which he felt recognised a shift in the capital’s housing provision. ‘This is just the start of a new shift and growth in the sector in the years to come’.

The show is accompanied by a research paper and series of events exploring the resurgence taking place in the provision of new public housing and affordable homes in the capital. Malthouse said that too many homes are built without the involvement of an architect, so are instead designed by non-specialists:

“Public housing is back and has to play its part in this enormous challenge to deliver 300,000 homes a year. Probably the biggest moral challenge we face in this country is fulfilling the promise to the next generation that we will build the homes for them which were built for us.

“We now know that bad housing leads to all sorts of other bad things for the people who live there and the people in the surrounding areas. We have seen this across the capital and indeed across the country, that what we once thought was leading edge, world beating, innovative, pushing the envelope amazing architecture, actually turned out to be a social disaster and we are busy correcting that now. So there are lessons from that about what people can live in, what works, what fits and what harmonises with the way people want to live.

“There is a resurgence in the provision of public housing and something that we are doing our best to encourage and as you (NLA) have pointed out, we have this enormous, historical target to hit and we are determined to try and do so by the mid 2020s; 300,000 net new editions homes by the mid 2020s and if we’re going to get there our broad philosophy is anyone who wants to build should be set free to build.”

The exhibition, championed by Countryside, L&Q, Notting Hill Genesis, Swan Housing and supported by Child Graddon Lewis, Clarion Housing and MICA, includes exemplar work from architects including Darling Associates, Benedetti Architects, Burd Haward, Mae, Jestico + Whiles, HTA Design, Proctor Matthews, Patel Taylor, and many others.

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