The prime minister must take responsibility for the “tiny homes” that she facilitated by ignoring industry and campaigner advice for better housing standards and more appropriate policy.
Changes to policy are welcomed but, unfortunately, it is too little too late as with many of her decisions.
Time after time, the PM and her housing ministers were told that their policy decisions were actively encouraging the construction of smaller homes, but they ignored every warning.
- Office to residential development under permitted development rules was a major contributing factor.
- The decision to stop publishing the number of one, two, three and four bedroom homes also gave councils fewer tools to match housing need with supply.
- Investment in and backing of the brilliant, albeit transitional, housing provider Pocket Living highlighted a lack of market understanding.
Local authorities who did not mandate space standards within local planning must take their share of the blame, but the Government knew this was happening and did not take the right steps to solve it.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders (NFB), said:
“The issue of tiny homes has been raised over and over again. The Government kicked it into the long grass and it is disingenuous of the prime minister to make it a priority, now that she is stepping down.”
Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing and planning policy at the House Builders Association, said:
“I’ve lost track of the number of times I raised this issue with the Government and councils. We can ensure larger homes are built through tools such as space standards, but councils must also know the types and size of homes that are being built. That requires the Government to begin publishing those statistics once again.”