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We don’t need identikit, soulless boxes 13 May 2019 A glance through the window of virtually any long-distance train reveals how much countryside is being gobbled up by identikit, soulless, mediocre housing designed around cars. Earlier this month, the housing minister, Kit Malthouse, predicted that many of the boxes being thrown up on the outskirts of towns would soon be “ripped down and bulldozed” as unsuitable. The evidence for his claim is simple. As Malthouse observed, housing is the one thing that virtually everyone likes to buy secondhand – and that means the issue of housing quality is now critical, particularly given the government’s aim to get 300,000 new homes built every year by the mid- 2020s. But despite new planning guidance, billions being poured into financial support for housebuilding and land supply and growing political and public pressure over the shameful growth in homelessness, this government is no nearer to working out how to build enough good quality, affordable homes that will adapt to people’s changing needs. Ipsos Mori research for the Royal Institute of British Architects found that people prefer Victorian and Georgian homes that feel more spacious, light and flexible, while Riba’s Future Homes Commission pointed out how poky many British homes are by European standards. Read the full article at Guardian Society __________________________________________________________________ Austerity’s pitiless, remorseless logic 26 April 2019 New analysis of council spending in England has exposed a cruel twist in the homelessness scandal: single homeless people are paying the price for the growing number of families in desperate need of shelter. The true scale of homelessness is obscured thanks to the official figures being inherently unreliable. But as an investigation by WPI Economics for the charities St Mungo’s and Homeless Link makes clear, even by the government’s own reckoning, more than 4,500 people were sleeping rough in England last year while more than 80,000 households were in temporary accommodation. According to 2017 figures from the charity Crisis, the number of households in England, Scotland and Wales defined as suffering “core” homelessness – which includes all forms of temporary shelter such as rough sleeping, sofa surfing, squatting and hostels as well as temporary housing – is likely to be about 160,000. It rose by 33% between 2011 and 2016. In 2017, almost 600 people died sleeping rough in England and Wales, aged, on average, just 47. Read the full article at Guardian Society __________________________________________________________________ Onagawa rises from tsunami wreckage 17 April 2019 On the shore of eastern Japan a wrecked police station lies on its side, ripped from the ground by the tsunami that devastated the country in 2011. “We are going to keep that building as a reminder of the disaster,” says Yoshinori Taura, assistant director of the town of Onagawa’s recovery promotion division. “To make sure the memories are passed to the next generation.” This is about more than sentiment. Onagawa was obliterated by the tsunami; as it builds a new future, the ruined police station will be a daily reminder to run to high ground whenever the tsunami siren sounds. But the reconstruction is about more than keeping the town safe from natural disasters. The municipality is also trying to find a way to build a thriving, bustling community despite massive population decline. The tsunami only accelerated Onagawa’s precipitous shrinking, which is now the fastest of any of the country’s municipalities: between 1965 and 2011, the population halved, to 10,000. It has now dropped to around 6,500. How could the town not merely rebuild after the worst disaster in Japan  since the atomic bombings, but somehow also stay active and bustling? Read the full article at the Guardian __________________________________________________________________
Public Policy Media Richard Vize
Public Policy Media Richard Vize
LATEST ARTICLES
CV
We don’t need identikit, soulless boxes 13 May 2019 A glance through the window of virtually any long-distance train reveals how much countryside is being gobbled up by identikit, soulless, mediocre housing designed around cars. Earlier this month, the housing minister, Kit Malthouse, predicted that many of the boxes being thrown up on the outskirts of towns would soon be “ripped down and bulldozed” as unsuitable. The evidence for his claim is simple. As Malthouse observed, housing is the one thing that virtually everyone likes to buy secondhand – and that means the issue of housing quality is now critical, particularly given the government’s aim to get 300,000 new homes built every year by the mid-2020s. But despite new planning guidance, billions being poured into financial support for housebuilding and land supply and growing political and public pressure over the shameful growth in homelessness, this government is no nearer to working out how to build enough good quality, affordable homes that will adapt to people’s changing needs. Ipsos Mori research for the Royal Institute of British Architects found that people prefer Victorian and Georgian homes that feel more spacious, light and flexible, while Riba’s Future Homes Commission pointed out how poky many British homes are by European standards. Read the full article at Guardian Society __________________________________________________________________ Austerity’s pitiless, remorseless logic 26 April 2019 New analysis of council spending in England has exposed a cruel twist in the homelessness scandal: single homeless people are paying the price for the growing number of families in desperate need of shelter. The true scale of homelessness is obscured thanks to the official figures being inherently unreliable. But as an investigation by WPI Economics for the charities St Mungo’s and Homeless Link makes clear, even by the government’s own reckoning, more than 4,500 people were sleeping rough in England last year while more than 80,000 households were in temporary accommodation. According to 2017 figures from the charity Crisis, the number of households in England, Scotland and Wales defined as suffering “core” homelessness – which includes all forms of temporary shelter such as rough sleeping, sofa surfing, squatting and hostels as well as temporary housing – is likely to be about 160,000. It rose by 33% between 2011 and 2016. In 2017, almost 600 people died sleeping rough in England and Wales, aged, on average, just 47. Read the full article at Guardian Society __________________________________________________________________ Onagawa rises from tsunami wreckage 17 April 2019 On the shore of eastern Japan a wrecked police station lies on its side, ripped from the ground by the tsunami that devastated the country in 2011. “We are going to keep that building as a reminder of the disaster,” says Yoshinori Taura, assistant director of the town of Onagawa’s recovery promotion division. “To make sure the memories are passed to the next generation.” This is about more than sentiment. Onagawa was obliterated by the tsunami; as it builds a new future, the ruined police station will be a daily reminder to run to high ground whenever the tsunami siren sounds. But the reconstruction is about more than keeping the town safe from natural disasters. The municipality is also trying to find a way to build a thriving, bustling community despite massive population decline. The tsunami only accelerated Onagawa’s precipitous shrinking, which is now the fastest of any of the country’s municipalities: between 1965 and 2011, the population halved, to 10,000. It has now dropped to around 6,500. How could the town not merely rebuild after the worst disaster in Japan since the atomic bombings, but somehow also stay active and bustling? Read the full article at the Guardian __________________________________________________________________