The National Housing and Planning Advice Unit (NHPAU) has had its remit extended by the CLG to include working with local authorities on housing issues at a sub-regional and local level.
The new remit works as an extension of the body’s current work, and comes off the back of a research report in February, which includes a model for local authorities to use in preparing Strategic Housing Market Assessments - an alternative to costly local income surveys.
Research is also under way to develop a nationwide map of functional housing market areas - promoting understanding of how housing markets work at the local level.
Another new research project will evaluate the contribution that initiatives other than new house building can make to improving housing affordability. The aim will be to help local authorities assess the role these can play in their housing strategies.
Peter Williams, Chair of the NHPAU, commented: "The local area is where sites are identified, planning decisions are made and the delivery pipeline managed.
"The overriding aim of our Board and expert team will be to help local authorities and sub-regional bodies make the planning and delivery system for housing work in a way which makes a difference to housing need."