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07/02/2017

Housing white paper: Government to support SMEs and renters

Words: Laura Edgar

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has launched the housing white paper with its measures to deliver more affordable homes, including for rent, and greater support for SME builders.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Javid also said that Fixing our broken housing market sets out measures that maintain the protection of the green belt and speed up the rate of building out.

Between 225,000 and 275,000 homes are needed a year, he said, to meet demand. “We have to build more of the right homes in the right places. And we have to start right now.”

Javid said it is a “bold, radical vision”.

The paper contains four chapters:

1.    Planning for the right homes in the right places
2.    Building homes faster
3.    Diversifying the market
4.    Helping people now

Alongside the white paper, a number of technical consultations were published, which aim to provide an evidence base for the white paper's proposals.

The government alone cannot increase the supply of housing, it said.

“It is vital to have local leadership and commitment from a wide range of stakeholders, including local authorities, private developers, housing associations, lenders and local communities.”

Fixing our broken housing market is long-term strategy to build the homes the country needs. It also states that help is needed now to find the right home while the strategy “takes effect”, therefore, it sets out how the government will address people’s housing needs and aspirations in the shorter term.

The offer

 

Councils:
Local authorities are being offered higher fees and new capacity funding to develop planning departments, simplified plan-making and more funding for infrastructure. The government has said it will make it easier for local authorities to take action against those who do not build out once permissions have been granted.

The government wants local authorities to be “as ambitious and innovative as possible” to get homes built in their area. All local authorities will be required to have an up-to-date local plan, developed with communities, decide development applications promptly, and that ensure homes are built out on time.

“Where they are not making sufficient progress on producing or reviewing
their plans, the government will intervene.”

Private developers:
The white paper states that the government is offering a planning framework that is “more supportive of higher levels of development with quicker and more effective processing and determination of panning applications”.

Greater diversity of home builders is encouraged, with help provided for small and medium-sized builders to access loan finance.

The government expects developers to build more homes, engage with communities, and focus on design and quality and to build homes “swiftly” when permission is granted. Developers are also expected to invest in their research and skills base to create “more sustainable career paths” to bring forward thousands of more skilled roles.

The housing white paper can be found here.


Read more:

Comment: A first look at the Housing White Paper

Housing white paper: Right homes, right places

Housing white paper: Building homes faster

Housing white paper: Market diversification

Housing white paper: Government pledges to help people now

Government housing white paper pledges to boost planning resources

Housing white paper: Rising land values not addressed, says RTPI 

Housing white paper: Reaction 

Housing white paper: Encouraging, but more clarity is needed

The housing white paper: Surgical repair or sticking plaster?


Image credit | Shutterstock

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