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A new report by the campaign Better Homes Enfield concludes that the vast majority of new housing developments planned for Enfield neglect the urgent need for family-sized housing and for social rent housing. The authors say that far too many of the 11,000 homes "in the pipeline" are small flats and the current strategy will not help tackle the borough's overcrowding problem and associated health and wellbeing problems. They call for a new approach that focuses on 'needs, not numbers'.

New research shows that urgent action is needed to provide family housing in Enfield

needs not numbers coverThere are well over 11,000 new homes in Enfield’s housing pipeline but most of these homes will not be the housing that Enfield actually needs.

Our analysis of 31 major planning applications indicates that:

  • Enfield’s housing needs are being routinely sidelined in a drive to meet overall targets.
  • Only 2 of the 31 applications (6%) will deliver the required amount of family sized housing (ie homes with 3 or more bedrooms).
  • The current housing strategy will create far too many small flats and not enough of the family sized homes that Enfield urgently needs to tackle overcrowding.
  • Affordable housing targets are routinely being missed, especially targets for genuinely affordable social rent housing. 
  • Only 7 of the 31 applications (23%) will deliver the required amount of social rent housing.

There are already over 14,000 households in Enfield that are classified as overcrowded, due to a lack of affordable family housing in the borough. This is concerning because – as this report highlights – overcrowding is associated with significant health and wellbeing outcomes. Covid-19 has bought into sharp focus the importance of having sufficient indoor and outdoor space, yet the majority of homes in Enfield’s housing pipeline are small flats without gardens.

We think that now more than ever, a new approach to housing is required that focuses on needs, not numbers.

Download the full report


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