Housing White Paper predictions

In the lead up to the housing White Paper being released, ministers have stated that England’s housing market is “broken”.

The strategy for housing in England is set to involve awarding councils the power to pressure developers to begin construction on land they possess, as well as forcing councils to cater for the housing demand in their area.

Each year, around 250,000 new homes are needed according to government estimation.

The importance of having a decent home was highlighted by Sajid Javid. The Communities Secretary stated that people did not want to make a “false choice” between renting and owning.

In a statement to MP, Mr Javid will go through the details of England’s housing strategy.

Predicted measures include:

  • Pressuring councils to deliver a current plan for housing demand
  • “low density” housing to be avoided by developers where availability of land is short
  • Time between planning permission and construction to be reduced from three years to two
  • Supporting smaller building firms challenge the larger developers with a £3 billion fund
  • The introduction of the “lifetime ISA” to help first time buyers afford a deposit
  • Continuing to protect green belt land, which can only be used for building in “exceptional circumstances”

Aimed at “households that need them most” will be so-called starter homes. The main target will, therefore, be those with combined incomes of under £80,000 or in London, under £90,000.

The government have also stated there will be a shift in focus in regards to starter homes. Whilst they will be offered at a reduced price to those looking to get onto the housing ladder, providing a “wider range of affordable housing” will also be a priority.

Mr Javid highlighted the problems in the current market, telling BBC Radio 4: “Walk down your local high street today and there’s one sight you’re almost certain to see. Young people’s faces pressed against the estate agent’s window, trying and failing to find a home they can afford.

“With prices continuing to skyrocket, if we don’t act now, a whole generation could be left behind. We need to do better, and that means tackling the failures at every point in the system.

“The housing market in this country is broken and the solution means building many more houses in the places that people want to live.”

He also mentioned that the cost of housing was the “greatest barrier to social progress in Britain today”.

Prior to the release of the White Paper, ministers have claimed that the new strategy will involve a “change of tone” from previous Conservative policy, with attention on those who are renting homes.

The Housing Minister Gavin Barwell has also recently stated that the governmental housing target is currently running behind schedule.

This originally set out to build one million new homes in England by 2020.


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