ResPublica launched a report yesterday looking at some of the pitfalls behind the ambitions of estate regeneration; it can be downloaded here.
It strongly advocates for a 'one nation' approach - not a one-size-fits-all set of policies and guidance, but a strategy that works for different estates in different parts of the country. Too often, housing solutions seems to be addressing the housing crisis in London and the South East, but are not always valid approaches for places in the North of the country. This could worsen the north-south divide.
The ambition that estate regeneration can both tackle deprivation and deliver new homes is valid in London or places where demand and price are so high that the cross-subsidy model is able to deliver both outcomes.
As a delivery partner of Big Local, Renaisi cannot be better positioned to understand that housing challenges are very different across the country. Communities are not only priced out in London, but also in Manchester and other core cities. Deprivation, dodgy landlords and appalling quality of housing are different problems in places where land values are extremely low, such as coastal towns. Estate regeneration is not the only response to the housing crisis. Community-led housing is another valid solution, but that too cannot be replicated everywhere in the same way.
That housing is a nuanced and complex issue is nothing new. However, ResPublica's approach, and more specifically the typology of estates, definitely is a step in the right direction to provide better, more nuanced solution.
Hopefully Lord Heseltine's Estate Regeneration Strategy will not advocate for the replication of London's cross-subsidy model of funding everywhere in the country.
Great Estates: Putting communities at the heart of regeneration, sets out how communities can be put at the heart of the Government’s forthcoming Estate Regeneration Strategy – and what else needs to be done to ensure prosperity and opportunity is spread to all parts of the country. Crucially, it warns that there is a North-South divide in the current approach to funding regeneration that risks leaving behind hundreds of communities outside London and the South East.