Has The Government Opened Their Eyes Up To The UK’s Housing Crisis?

In answer to the nation’s housing predicament, the Prime Minster Theresa May announced in her speech to the National Housing Federation in September that the UK Government would be spending £2bn to boost the country’s affordable and social housing supply.

As the first Prime Minister to talk at the event, Theresa May comments on the housing issues, “speaks volumes about the way in which social housing has, for too long and under successive governments, been pushed to the edge of the political debate… at best taken for granted, at worst actively undermined.”

This month, Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) published their latest Housing statistical release on Affordable Housing Supply from April 2017 to March 2018 in England.

Below are MHCLG Key findings:

  • There were 47,355 affordable homes delivered in England in 2017-18, an increase of 12% compared to 2016-17.
  • Since 2013-14, affordable rent has become the most common tenure type for affordable homes delivery. In 2017-18, there were 26,838 new affordable rent homes, representing 57% of all new affordable homes.
  • Nearly half (47%) of all affordable homes delivered in 2017-18 were funded through section 106 (nil grant) agreements. This has been increasing year-on-year since a low in 2014-15 when section 106 (nil grant) accounted for 22% of affordable homes delivered.
  • There were 8.5 affordable homes delivered per 10,000 population in England. This is similar to the average of the previous 15 years (9.0 affordable homes)
  • 90% of affordable homes delivered in England were new build, similar to the previous year.
  • There were 53,572 starts on site in England in 2017-18, an 11% increase on the previous year.

Andrew Lloyd, Managing Director at Search Acumen, comments on MHCLG’s research findings: “The UK Government and industry has finally woken up to the scale of our nation’s housing crisis. It’s encouraging to see recent drives to increase the supply of affordable housing start to reach fruition, with over 47,000 affordable homes delivered in 2017-18. But we have a lot of work to do – National Housing Federation estimates suggest we need to be building more than 140,000 affordable properties a year to help satisfy demand.

“While the need to build more affordable homes is an urgent one, we have to ensure that the resolution to this problem isn’t a knee jerk reaction of more promises of affordable housing investment, without thought as to what type of properties are most in need, and where they are needed. If we are to fix the UK’s housing crisis for this generation and those to come, we need to take a smarter approach.

“The Government has made its intentions clear that both public and private enterprises must take advantage of property data to make better planning and building decisions. To build more, we need to do a better job of identifying and unlocking the sites best suited for affordable housing, and to make sure we’re not only building the right kind of homes at the right price, but in the right places also.”

As a conveyancer, do you think the Government’s cash injection will get the UK housing market out of trouble?  

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