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Powerful new voice aims to solve Devon’s housing crisis

Published: 12 July 2023

Powerful new voice aims to solve Devon’s housing crisis Housing Commission

City Council Leader Phil Bialyk has welcomed plans to create a new Housing Commission to act as a powerful new voice to help solve Devon’s housing crisis.

Experts, councillors and parliamentarians from across Devon have joined forces to form the new Housing Commission.

It has been established by the Devon Housing Task Force - a partnership between the 11 local authorities across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay and supported by the University of Exeter.

The Housing Commission will develop recommendations to start to address the shortage of appropriate homes, which is having an impact on people’s health and the economy.

The Commission will allow those affected to have their say and inform representations to Government. People and organisations in Devon can have their say on issues related to housing by responding to a survey at:

The Commission will show the importance of decent housing to Devon’s prosperity, economic growth and social mobility.

It is chaired by Lord Richard Best, a widely experienced expert in housing issues, and will be managed by Matthew Dodd from the University of Exeter.

Commissioners will include prominent politicians and housing experts from across Devon, representing the various housing challenges and opportunities that the county experiences.

Exeter City Council Leader Phil Bialyk said: “I very much welcome the work of the Housing Commission. Everyone knows that we have a big housing shortage in Devon and this needs to be addressed urgently if we are to create the affordable homes that people are so badly in need of.

“Housing is a key priority for Exeter City Council, and we are delighted to be working in partnership with others to help ensure the Commission becomes a powerful voice on the importance of good quality housing.”

Those on the Devon Housing Commission will take evidence from communities across Devon over the next year.

Lord Best said: “By bringing together those with a major role across the county the Commission will be a powerful voice for the importance of good quality housing for health and the economy.

“The Commission will allow us to fully understand the origins of current pressures and look for innovative solutions from collective local action or significant policy change.”

Cllr Mandy Ewings, Chair of the Devon Housing Task Force, said: “The Devon Housing Commission represents a real opportunity to bring together people and expertise from across the county and beyond to make a positive change to tackling the housing crisis.

“We were delighted to secure Lord Best as the Chair of the Commission and we look forward to working together over the next year and responding to the findings of the Commission in order to deliver better housing outcomes for local people.”

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