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04 July 2017

In the year 2036...

No research project can satisfy everyone but what a missed opportunity by CHC’s Housing Horizons to reference the prophesies of Zager & Evans’ 1969 Number One record In the Year 2525:

In the year 2525 if man is still alive
If woman can survive they may find…

Instead Savills were asked to paint a picture of housing in twenty years’ time. So in the year 2036 what did they find? They found a need for an additional 174,000 homes to house an ageing population, and one where single-person households would be growing the most.

The challenge facing housing professionals in Wales is how we address this growing and changing need. However, as useful as the excellent Data Resource pack is (read it here), it would be unwise to put too much store by future-gazing. Indeed, I would suggest that we are better off looking to the past and not repeating the mistakes we made last time we tried to address a chronic housing shortage and growing housing need.

We only need to look back to the early 1970s - when Zager& Evans’ hit was still selling on 7’’ vinyl and flagship housing schemes such as Grenfell Tower were nearing completion. Whatever dire picture the data is predicting we must resist the urge to play the numbers game. We must hold our nerve and continue to deliver the highest quality, safest, most accessible housing for those otherwise unable to access the housing market.

Some of us will have retired from housing by 2036, but the decisions we make now in response to the Housing Horizons research will be very tangible. By working together we can make sure that we meet future demands. By remembering the past, we can make sure we are not building problems for the future.

In the year 2036… they may find we got it right this time.

Stephen Cook
Chief Executive, Valleys to Coast Housing