The much anticipated housing and construction theme of the Government’s Red Tape Challenge is here www.redtapechallenge.cabinetoffice.gov.uk
From 12th January 2012 to 16th February- we all have the opportunity to air our views on the perceived barriers to an efficient and affordable housing supply resulting from regulation. There is already a lively and important on – line debate on simplifying, reducing, enforcing, even scrapping the existing 200 regulations. If only it were so simple!
Setting aside our major concerns on the growing shortfall of affordable homes, the response of The Housing Forum is that we should put the consumer at the heart of the review and take this opportunity and the analysis that will follow to improve information, descriptions and “labels” so that the understanding of the performance of a house is accessible not just to industry specialists but becomes as well known as energy and appliance labelling.
The cross industry Housing Forum set up a working group on Innovation in Regulation and Construction chaired by Andy von Bradsky, PRP Architects last year . Firstly ,to understand the link between costs and standards in housing construction – does higher cost always equal higher standards ?Secondly, to burrow down behind the received wisdom that housing for the public sector must always be different in standards to housing built for market sale. Anticipating the “Red Tape Challenge “was part of our ambition and over the next few weeks, we will review and submit our views along with you all.
It’s not just a case of “good regulation-bad regulation” but nor should the challenge be just about barriers and burdens, it’s really about better quality information for the customer- both end user and landlord.
Driving out waste and inefficiency is right up there on the wish list. There is complexity, duplication and waste to be tackled but also, the cost of compliance and tendering in pursuit of an open process.