Richard Koch Breakthrough essay competition entries

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Two of CAUSE’s committee members submitted Essays to the 2018 Richard Koch Breakthrough prize. The question was:

What market-based, popular policy will you recommend to alleviate the UK’s housing shortage, and to rejuvenate our property-owning democracy?

William Sunnucks wrote about Viability Review Panels.  “This essay identifies the forces which drive the over-regulation of land use in the UK and proposes a bottom up solution.  By bringing economic thinking to rules-driven councils “Viability Review Panels” will free up the supply of building land and reduce the cost of new housing.

This is a policy that can be implemented now. It recognises the legitimate concerns of local people in a new and constructive way.  The cost will be low and the potential to harness land value uplift high.   There will be a bigger cake for politicians to divide and they should support it.”

Read the essay here:     Richard Koch Breakthrough Essay WS


Rosie Pearson’s essay looked at Collaborative Housing Funds:  “My proposed policy is the creation of Collaborative Housing Funds (CHF’s).  These Funds will usher in a brave new world of collaborative planning in which new housing might even become popular.   Collaborative Housing Funds will do two things: construct affordable homes, supported by infrastructure, and co-ordinate a consensual plan for the growth of an area.

To achieve the first objective, construction, each CHF will pool all housing related funds for its relevant area.   The funds will be used to take direct control of the construction of affordable and market homes, and the delivery of accompanying infrastructure.

Under the second objective, co-ordination, the CHF will be in charge of regional plan-making, with a goal of ensuring that it is collaborative, democratic and accessible. Local authorities will be removed from the equation altogether.

It will be impossible for the CHF to ‘consult & ignore’, because key decisions will be subject to a shareholder vote.  Decisions will no longer be in the hand of a few councillors and powerful officers. The new system will reduce the protracted battles with action groups, thus speeding up house-building.”

To read the essay, click here:  Richard Koch Breakthrough Essay RP