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Planning's role in tackling poverty and homelessness

Planning | Blog

Simon Macklen, director of economics at Marrons Planning, which is part of Ampa, will be attending this year’s Anthropy. Here, he discusses the role of socio economics and planning in fixing the housing crisis.

The cost of keeping a roof over their head is most people’s largest outgoing, and with private rents spiralling and mortgage rates rocketing, it is becoming increasingly expensive.

These rising costs could push more people into poverty, particularly as the UK struggles with its worst cost of living crisis since the 1950s.

Fixing a housing crisis that has its foundations in policy decisions going back decades is no easy feat. For too long, local political expediency has been prioritised over national and local needs.

To address the backlog of housing need, more homes – especially ones that are genuinely affordable – must be built.

And in order to achieve this, political meddling in planning decisions has to stop.

Local politics does not account for long-term build programmes as councillors are voted in on a short-term basis.

Too often, we see councillors agreeing there is a need for affordable housing, but when applications are brought forward to build new developments, they are rejected.

Good quality socio economics data will also play a key role in helping local authorities focus in on areas of greatest need, delivering much-needed supply, and providing valuable insight into the social value that such development brings.

The evidence that there is a chronic shortage of homes of all types in the UK is overwhelming and permission needs to be granted to address the housing emergency in far greater volumes than is currently the case.

To find out more about Anthropy, please visit

Published: 18th October 2022
Area: Economic Development

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Marrons is a multi-service development consultancy backed by the experience of working for local authorities, extensive market intel and connections across the industry - from planning offices and private landowners to housebuilders and retailers.

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