So let's return to those tens of thousands of new homes currently been promised and planned for by everyone - that's all governments, developers, and everybody.
As I have said previously, I strongly suspect that in reality, this means the resurrection of the dreaded 'dovecot' - that is, rickety, thin-walled, tiny, jerry-built one or two-bed flats provided for the delight of buy-to-let owners, and not the spacious, well-designed family homes we need. The last time there was enthusiasm for buildings, we ended up with vast, yawning, panoramas of matching newbuild low-rise blocks of flats, which are probably starting to fall into disrepair... right about now. Well - those that aren't falling down.
First off, we must define 'family'. We need to define family where idiots like Jeremy Hunt are bemoaning the fact that we don't all welcome our elderly parents to live with us, despite that bedroom-tax thingy, and the UK having the smallest homes in Europe, etc. Families in actual, real life are complex creatures.
They rarely comprise of neat interludes of 2.4 children per heterosexual life-partnership. No: families are blended (that is when two partners with children from previous relationships share a home). They mighty even be multi-generational - with grandparents sharing to be cared for themselves, or to care for children. There will older half-siblings of varied gender, perhaps returning home to save or in breaks from their studies. All or none of the above is likely to be employed to do shift work which comes with anti-social hours. Some might be disabled, and so require specific access facilities, and space for health equipment.
In all honesty it's always been that way. Tenants – even owners – must live in what they are given. But now we must cater directly for real life. Privacy is essential, and rooms situated in other storeys, as sticking to two floor houses might not work anymore. We need separation of rooms dedicated to different uses. The current trend for open-plan living defeats different modern life: people need a quieter study space, and room for eating and distracting 'entertainments' like television.
They will also need sufficient storage space for everyone, for clothes and other possessions, and of course proper sound-proofing. I'm really interested in the idea of the 'passivhaus' built with triple glazing, excellent insulation for warmth, and heated by warm air circulating. This would bring an end to the spine-tingling fear, guilt and recriminations when the one person at home turns on the heating.
This typically, untypical family I've created also needs a good-sized garden, with some space to grow food (I am not expecting any more allotment space to be set aside any time soon.) The kitchen should have enough space for energy efficient food storage ie large, economical freezers, and cupboards for bulk buying food so as to economise.
So that's what we need: a new initiative for three-story, spacious, sound-insulated, passivhaus's, each with enough room for every family member to have a seat at the table and another in the lounge. Is it too hard? I can hear developers everywhere laughing disdainfully even as I type.