City Minutes

City Minutes: How a flexible zoning system would end the UK housing crisis

Anthony Breach explains how the planning system causes the housing crisis and why a flexible zoning system would fix it.

Podcast published on 25 June 2020

The housing crisis remains one of the biggest challenges the UK faces. While many young people in high demand cities and towns struggle to afford decent accommodation, homeowners in parts of the Greater South East have gained vast amounts of housing wealth in recent years.

For this episode of City Minutes, Centre for Cities’ Housing Analyst Anthony Breach joins Andrew Carter to discuss his latest report Planning for the future: How flexible zoning will end the housing crisis.

Drawing concerning comparisons with the ‘shortage economies’ of the former Eastern Bloc, he argues that our discretionary, case-by-case planning system rations land, restricts the supply of new homes and decreases affordability. He calls for the UK to scrap this approach and adopt a flexible zoning system, as seen in countries such as Japan and parts of the USA.

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