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The research, ‘Tenure Integration in housing developments’ found that mixed tenure developments are now commonplace in the UK and, contrary to fears, do not negatively impact house prices as long as the design and the quality of the housing is of a high standard.
The NHBC Foundation, in collaboration with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), commissioned a review of existing literature to explore issues surrounding tenure integration in new housing developments.
It concludes that mixed tenure is now a part of UK life with most researchers agreeing that single tenure developments are now a thing of the past.
Integrated housing or ‘pepper-potting’ – where social and private homes are located side-by-side – are found to increase social cohesion. Meanwhile, developments which segregate private and social housing have higher rates of negative feelings and division.
The research shows that house builders and social landlords should consider a wider range of house types and sizes to further encourage social cohesion and stabilise neighbourhoods. This would encourage residents to move from private rented to purchase or for those in apartments to move into family housing.
The report recommends that more research should be carried out into how mixed tenure developments are managed as well as the impact of the boom of the private rented sector. High levels of privately-rented properties can damage community cohesion as there is a greater turnover of residents in these properties and a lack of management accountability from absentee landlords.
The report also found that popular mixed-tenure developments can become over popular and ‘gentrified’ driving out those on low incomes by pricing them out of an area.
Nick Raynsford, Chairman of the NHBC Foundation, said that in the past, there was an ‘unsound’ assumption that people of different economic or social status should be housed in separate locations – leading to extensive problems of deprivation and social exclusion on stigmatised ‘sink estates’.
“The move to promote integrated tenure over the past two decades is entirely understandable and appropriate. But inevitably questions have been raised about how this is best achieved and how to respond to potential problems.
“This report reviews the evidence about tenure integration in new housing developments and provides a very useful summary covering a range of different themes. Most of the conclusions are encouraging.
“The evidence does not suggest that there are immovable barriers to successful mixed tenure developments, and demonstrates that fears that such developments will threaten the value of owner-occupied housing are not substantiated.
“They do point to the need for careful planning and good design to ensure the creation of successful communities and they reinforce the case for high-quality management.”
Jane Briginshaw, Head of Design and Sustainability at the HCA said:
“I am pleased to help shed light on such an important issue and on some of the myths that surround it. The report shows how integrated housing can increase social cohesion and does not negatively affect house prices when associated with high standards.”
> Read the full Report
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