Will this generation solve the housing crisis?

For thousands of 18 year olds across the country, today will be filled with excitement, anticipation, elation and for some disappointment. It’s A-Level results day, which has got us at MPC wondering how the next generation of planners and architects will attempt solve the UK’s ongoing housing crisis?

Whilst a degree related to Planning is not offered by every university, Architecture continues to be a popular choice, and Land Management related courses are growing in popularity. The power of ‘generation rent’ was strongly felt in the recent election, there was a youth surge in the vote and evidence that housing concerns are at the forefront of young people’s minds. So how might this generation look to solve the housing crisis?

Well, for a start a larger pool of talent at the UK’s disposal should lead to more innovative designs and initiatives. One such innovative solution in Canada is Montreal’s creative ‘grow home’ concept, which aims to help generation rent own their own adaptable home. The grow home is designed for low-income renters who are willing to buy cheaper, smaller properties, that come with a kitchen and bathroom but very little else. The idea is that those usually forced to rent are able to buy their own homes and then complete the decoration and construction as their financial resources grow. Grow homes have been successful at relieving pressure at the bottom of the housing market, and providing a way out of rental accommodation for those desperately seeking to own their own home. 

However, grow homes are not the only innovative alternative to the current housing crisis. Other countries have solved theirs by taking innovative approaches such as co-housing, community land trusts, prefab, and self builds. All of these options are available in the UK and could offer a flexible approach to creating the new homes people urgently need. In ending the housing crisis the UK needs to realise that the solution is out there, but it means that as a country we have to innovate, and we have to build. Let’s hope that this new generation of planners and architects passes the test.  

This article was written by Alan Gibbs, Account Executive at MPC.