Worcester City Council – Housing Delivery Review
Worcester City Council highlight housing as one of the most fundamental elements within anyone’s life. They believe it is integral to their communities and is a tool for promoting social inclusion, a vehicle for regeneration, addressing homelessness and at the heart of healthy neighbourhoods.
The Strategic Housing Service Team works to provide affordable, safe and secure homes throughout the city.
We have recently completed an important 5-month assignment for Worcester City Council. The council appointed us to explore the reasons why housing production, and especially affordable housing production, persistently fails to achieve targets in and around the city. Worcester works with its neighbouring districts, Malvern Hills and Wychavon, to formulate its Local Plan and there are strategic sites in these other districts which make a significant contribution to meeting Worcester’s housing requirements. So, we had to examine the market functionality and operating context across an area broader than Worcester alone.
We engaged with the council’s members and various officers as part of our work and also with a number of other stakeholders. We examined the policy, funding, land supply and project delivery context in some detail and considered the way the council is resourced to support production.
We have made a wide range of recommendations to the council on measures it can take to achieve a significant uptick in the output of new affordable homes. This includes some interesting innovations around land supply and promotion which would see the council becoming much more engaged in these up-front aspects of the development process.