A housing association and a developer have hit out at a report that found social housing to be no better designed than private homes

Design watchdog Cabe last week finally released a report saying only 18% of new social homes met a good or very good design standard, the same number as non-publicly-funded homes. The research was revealed by Building in February.

The study, for the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), found nearly two-thirds of publicly-funded schemes were average and 21% were poor. This is despite detailed design standards for new social housing set out by the HCA’s predecessor, the Housing Corporation.

However, David Eastgate, chief executive of Hyde Housing, said the Housing Corporation’s design standards were to do with the interiors of homes rather than their external appearance.

He added: “There isn’t the capacity to produce every scheme to an award-winning design. A lot of bread-and-butter stuff has to happen because of demand for housing numbers and financial constraints. It is functional design.”

Alan Cherry, chairman of private housebuilder Countryside Properties, said housing associations faced similar constraints to private housebuilders.

He said: “It paints a picture that every scheme is bad; it isn’t. It is unfair to registered social landlords to say they are not developing at least some schemes to a good standard of design.”