Social and Affordable Housing Initiative


With one of the world’s least affordable housing markets and the highest rate of homelessness in Europe, urgent action is required to address the UK’s spiralling housing crisis, underpinned by effective leadership from government. Our aim is to transform how social and affordable housing is provided and to demonstrate how targets can be met by building high-quality, sustainable and socially balanced communities.

 Conservative estimates of 300,000 homeless people, including 120,000 children and 5,000 rough sleepers in the UK today most likely undercount the true numbers who endure roofless-ness (rough sleepers), houseless-ness (temporary places to sleep such as shelters), insecure housing (sofa surfing, threat of eviction), and inadequate housing (poor quality, often extremely overcrowded).   

In this context, we have established the Social and Affordable Housing Initiative, as a coalition of partners, co-led by world leading architect John McAslan + Partners, UCL, the Dolphin Living Charity and Changebuilding, to establish impactful strategies to address Britain’s housing crisis. This initiative will be launched at an event chaired by Baroness Helena Kennedy KC at the Royal Society of the Arts on 4 October 2023, with the publication of our evidence evidence-based report and a presentation from the coalition’s panel of experts where their plans will be shared and discussed with an invited audience.

Our report demonstrates that addressing the housing crisis improves the lives of everyone, with benefits accruing fastest for the most vulnerable. We do so by summarising the evidence about physical/mental health and wider social impacts, by calculating the economic costs and savings from ending homelessness, and by highlighting the best exemplars of recent social/affordable housing which could be scaled nationally. We also make 12 specific recommendations to deliver high-quality, low-energy social/affordable homes for both new and retrofit housing which use new technologies to deliver the scale of output needed and to achieve Net Zero Carbon construction.

Partners & Collaborators

John McAslan + Partners

Bartlett School of Architecture

Dolphin Living Charity


DP9 Planning Consultants

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