Westminster Social Policy Forum

For booking-related queries or information on speaking please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk, or contact us: +44 (0)1344 864796.

Next steps for housing supply and development in England

planning | affordable & social housing | financing housebuilding | improving routes to home ownership | environmental protection

Morning, Thursday, 25th July 2024


This conference will discuss priorities for the building of new homes and next steps for the wider housing market in England.

It will be an opportunity to examine key issues for housing supply, looking at the way forward for increasing building on underused sites and tackling bottlenecks within the planning system.

The conference is also a timely opportunity for delegates to discuss policy priorities for the new Government, looking at plans announced so far including:

  • build 1.5 million homes over the course of this Parliament
  • reforming the Affordable Holmes Programme
  • introducing a revised National Planning Policy Framework and reintroducing mandatory housing targets
  • establishing new mechanisms for cross-boundary strategic planning
  • requiring all combined and mayoral authorities to strategically plan for housing growth

The agenda is structured to bring out latest thinking on the design and implementation of local plans following proposed reintroduction of mandatory housing targets. Delegates will discuss the way forward for freeing up grey belt land for building while protecting natural spaces, balancing new developments with environmental protection, and priorities for community engagement and how to target areas of high demand.

With recommendations for further government support and investment, stakeholders and policymakers will examine priorities for the financing and sustainability of housebuilding following the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee’s report The Finances and Sustainability of the Social Housing Sector in April 2024. They will consider planning and the price of land, as well as proposed funding mechanisms and the impact of the Infrastructure Levy on social and affordable housing.

Further sessions include discussion on the efficacy of home-ownership schemes such as the Right to Buy and Shared Ownership, and what is needed from mortgage products, lenders and developers to expand routes into home ownership and enhance the home buying and selling process.

There will also be discussion on the future regulation of estate agents, including how to improve professionalism and the potential introduction of minimum levels of training and agency licensing, with legislation having not passed prior to the dissolution of Parliament.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Joanna Key, Director General, Regeneration, Housing and Planning, DLUHC; Rachael Williamson, Head, Policy and External Affairs, Chartered Institute of Housing; and Jonathan Webb, Principal Research Fellow, Sheffield Hallam University.

Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • the current housing market: key issues for housing supply in England - policy priorities - responding to economic challenges and trends - developing the new build market and competitiveness more widely
  • affordable and social housing: addressing the recent shortfall - funding priorities and sustainability of the social housing sector - new priorities for increasing availability - the future of a proposed Infrastructure Levy 
  • local government: assessing the impact of the Levelling up and Regeneration Act 2023 - implementation of strategies for new housing from local plans - new house building planning requirements for combined and mayoral authorities
  • collaboration: priorities and best practice for cooperation between central and local government - coordinating local and national planning choices and policy - community engagement 
  • planning: assessing system reform - streamlining - impact of reform to the NPPF - delivering local plans and engaging with residents - priorities for nature and environmental protection
  • development: priorities for grey belts and repurposing brownfield land - addressing regional and geographic variation in the construction of new homes - evaluating issues for key stakeholders including SMEs and larger developers
  • routes to home-ownership: reform to the Affordable Homes Programme - developing effective mortgage products and options that take economic conditions into account - impact of government-backed schemes and affordable housing programmes - access to financing options and ongoing affordability concerns
  • house building in the long term: boosting public services and infrastructure - conservation of green belts - next steps for decarbonising the housing sector - assessing the impact of growth on housing needs

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues in the presence of key policy officials who are due to attend from DLUHC; Defra; DBT; DfT; DWP; GLD; Homes England; ONS; NAO; Ofwat; Home Office; and the Department for the Economy, NI - as well as parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons.

The proceedings of the conference will be circulated more widely, to Parliamentarians, ministerial offices, and government and regulatory officials with an interest in the issues being discussed. All delegates will also receive a video recording of the conference.

Keynote Speakers

Joanna Key

Director General, Regeneration, Housing and Planning, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

Rachael Williamson

Head, Policy and External Affairs, Chartered Institute of Housing

Jonathan Webb

Principal Research Fellow, Sheffield Hallam University

Keynote Speakers

Joanna Key

Director General, Regeneration, Housing and Planning, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

Rachael Williamson

Head, Policy and External Affairs, Chartered Institute of Housing

Jonathan Webb

Principal Research Fellow, Sheffield Hallam University


Lord Lansley

Lord Taylor of Goss Moor


Joanne Drew

Strategic Director, Housing and Regeneration, Enfield Council

James Browne

Senior Policy Advisor, Economic Policy, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

Roland Bolton

Senior Director, Head of Strategic Research Planning Unit, DLP Planning

Dr Richard Benwell

Chief Executive, Wildlife and Countryside Link

Emmanuel Itodo Daniel

Senior Lecturer, Construction Management, University of Wolverhampton