Essay on Good Quality Housing
Number of words: 1987
In this report, I will be exploring two questions related to Module C- Draft for Consultation: Good Quality Housing. The two questions are: To what extent do you think module C is clear and easy to use? And To what extent do you agree or disagree that Module C provides a comprehensive set of housing standards in order to ensure the high-quality design can be achieved? In the subsequent section, I will provide the rationale for writing this response and provide answers to the two questions. Lastly, discussions will be made, and conclusions are drawn.
The rationale for my response
This response is primarily for an assessment on a module I am currently doing as part of a master’s programme at the university. Although the national and local government have repeatedly reiterated their commitment towards advocating for safe, secure and accessible houses for the disabled communities, they still have difficulties obtaining safe, secure and accessible homes. Specifically, developers do not adhere to the existing guidelines, which require the construction of accessible housing. In this regard, Module C is a timely and much-needed response for ensuring that developers build houses that are in line with the set standards.
To what extent do you think module C is clear and easy to use?
Easy to understand
Arguably, good policies are written in clear language that is easy to understand (Birkland, 2019; Breyer et al., 2017). In the current fast-paced economy, people are pressed for time and only read materials that are relevant and applicable to them. Besides, policies should be written for specific target audiences and address issues that are relevant to them. In this regard, Module C can be said to be straightforward and easy to use (Bulmer, 2015). The policy document is designed specifically for all the stakeholders in the housing sector. Notably, module C contains a wide range of housing design standards, which are to be employed when either assessing or designing a new house. Besides, the document is arranged in seven specific themes namely shaping good places, designing for a diverse city, from street to front door, dwelling place safes standards, Home as a place of retreat, living sustainably and future-proofing.
The organisation of the policy document into the seven themes is particularly essential as it enables one to quickly obtain information on a topic/issue that might be of interest to him/her. Besides, the document has a wide range of case studies that are relatable to the readers. In some instances, readers may find it difficult understanding a policy document as the information contained is technical. However, providing case studies makes it increasingly easier for the readers to understand the information as they can relate it with the case studies.
It is up to date
Furthermore, good policy documents should be up to date (Cairney, 2016; Dror, 2017). Principally, this means that the policy documents should be relevant to the periods in which they are written (Kerwin & Furlong, 2018; Shambaugh & Weinstein Jr, 2015). Undoubtedly, module c can be considered as being up to date. The document is an update of the London Housing Design Guide (2010). The document seeks to streamline the management of the development of the boroughs. It provides developers and constructions officers with the guidance, which they should adhere to when seeking planning approval for their construction projects. Besides, providing the technical standards that the developers should adhere to, module C also offers qualitative guidance through referring to excellent practice examples. As previously stated, the document has numerous up to date case studies, which demonstrate how good designing standards have resulted in positive experience by the residences.
Moreover, it is particularly important to note that module C has been developed in line with the specifications and guidelines of the NPPF (The National Planning Policy Framework) 2019. The NPPF 2019 calls for the proactive granting of permission for new housing. On its part, Module C promotes the proactive issuance of permission for new housing using PIP (Permission in Principle) and Development orders that are specifically tailored to neighbourhood forums and boroughs.
It is easy to implement
Additionally, good policy document should be easy to implement (Maggetti & Trein, 2019; Molle, 2015). Ordinarily, it more straightforward to implement issue-specific policies as opposed to bundled policies (Molle, 2015; Richardson, 2017). Bundled or wide-ranging policy documents are complicated to implement, as the audience does not fully understand them (Ozawa, 2019; Richrdson, 2015). Module C is issue-specific as it deals explicitly with the housing design problem in London. The document provides the guidelines, which should be used when evaluating the capacity of buildings and land to accommodate housing. Arguably, module C achieves this through the optimisation of the site capacity at all phases of the planning process, namely site-allocation, plan-making, pre-application discussions, area-based strategies, and application determination.
Besides, module C provides guidelines on how chances to provide new houses on small-scale housing developments should be pointed out, designed and authorised to meet the housing needs of London. Besides, module C offers guidelines and directives on how housing can be incorporated with multiple building types and uses to ensure extra high-quality homes are provided.
To what extent do you agree or disagree that Module C provides a comprehensive set of housing standards in order to ensure the high-quality design can be achieved?
Promotes the designing of homes that meets the needs of the diverse population
Undoubtedly, Module C offers a comprehensive set of housing standards, which ensures that high-quality design can be achieved. One of the core objectives of Module C is to ensure that new construction projects in London can meet the diverse needs of its population seamlessly. Module C requires developers explicitly to not only consider the initial occupiers of homes when developing houses but also future owners and tenants (Greater London Authority, 2020). The needs of the disabled communities are well captured in the Module C guidelines. Specifically, the guideline requires that wheel chair user dwellings should be spread across the development projects.
Further, since most of the wheel chair users require affordable housing, Module C specifies that at least 10% of all the affordable housing development projects should include wheel chair dwellings. Module C also specifies explicitly that the London Plan Policy D7 Accessible housing should apply to all homes being constructed in the city (Greater London Authority, 2020). The case study of Caudale is provided to demonstrate how construction for a diverse population should look like and its benefits. Specifically, the Caudale apartments are wheel chair accessible, which has resulted in significant enhancement of the experience of the disabled communities living there (Greater London Authority, 2020).
Promotes the development of safe and secure housing
For the disabled community members, safe and secure housing is critical. The disabled community members have special needs; therefore, they need housing where their needs are well catered for (Mulheirn, 2019). Notably, Module C provides guidelines on the construction of homes, which promote fire safety for all users. In particular, Module C requires developers to ensure that there are multiple means of access and evacuation in their various housing development projects (Greater London Authority, 2020). Further, Module C requires the means of evacuation need to be designed in such a way that not only guarantees but also ensures the dignified evacuation of all the building users. Previously, when developers were building means of evacuations in their housing projects, they did not consider the special needs of disabled community members (Mulheirn, 2019). Ultimately, this resulted in most of them being trapped in the building in case of emergencies or being evacuated inappropriately (Mulheirn, 2019).
Conceivably, housing needs and requirements are highly dynamic and are always constantly changing. For instance, previously, there was no requirement to build housing which is accessible using wheel chairs (Housing LIN, 2020). However, with the number of disabled community members continually increasing, now developers are required to build homes that are accessible using wheelchairs (Housing LIN, 2020; Edwards, 2016). Module C contains building and construction guidelines, which ensure that the city can remain sustainable. Specifically, the building guidelines ensure that the homes that will be built are resilient to long-term weather and climate change impacts such as heat risk, flooding and drought. Also, Module C offers guidelines which ensure that all the house built are according to Zero carbon standard and are water efficient.
Principally, module C is the right step in ensuring that all the housing projects in London are inclusive and accessible. Nonetheless, there is a need for increased involvement of the disabled communities in the planning of housing properties (Mulheirn, 2019). As previously observed, there have been well-thought and robust guidelines, but there has been reluctance in their implementation (Fields & Hodkinson, 2018). It is only through the direct-involvement of the disabled community members that goodwill can be generated that ensures developers build housing properties that are not only accessible but also inclusive (Fields & Hodkinson, 2018). This can be attributable to the fact that the disabled community members are better suited at communicating their specialised housing needs to all the stakeholders in the housing sector.
To sum it up, the letter has provided a robust assessment of the Module C document. The letter has shown that module C is easy and clear to use as it is up to date, easy to implement and easy to understand. The response has also shown that module C provides a comprehensive set of housing standards, which ensures that high-quality design can be achieved as it promotes the designing of safe and secure homes and those that meet the diverse needs of the London Population. Lastly, appropriate recommendations have been provided on how the acceptability of Module C document can be enhanced.
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