Estimating housing need
This report, together with the model which it describes, is the main output of a study commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government in August 2008. The key goal for the research was to develop a statistical model for estimating housing need at both the national and regional level, both for the current period and well into the future. The model was required to build on and enhance existing ‘state of the art’ modelling techniques and to possess the flexibility to address a wide range of possible future scenarios and ‘what if?’ questions. This report seeks to provide a concise account of the research as a whole, including an explanation of the selected variables measured and modelled, a summary of key outputs generated by the model and a commentary about the significance and implications of these.
Behavioural models and baseline evidence are brought together in a medium sized spreadsheet-based simulation model to produce medium term conditional forecasts of housing outcomes, subject to a wide range of user-controlled assumptions or policy inputs. Unmet housing need has increased and is forecast to increase sharply around 2009 due to demographic and economic pressures, inadequate supply and recent credit rationing. Needs are forecast to remain at higher levels than a few years ago, with the prospect of only gradual improvement over time. Increasing social housing supply has a larger and earlier impact on need than private supply, although there is a good case for a balance of provision including intermediate tenures. Social housing allocation policies appear to have quite a significant impact on need trajectories, but this finding must be weighed with other considerations.
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