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Government outlines plans to fix ‘broken housing market’

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07/02/2017
Government outlines plans to fix ‘broken housing market’

The government has published its plans to fix the ‘broken housing market’ and build more homes across England.

It will introduce measures to reduce the obstacles to house building and help local authorities, developers and SME builders build the homes Britain needs.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid today set out “proposals to help fix the housing market so that more ordinary working people from across the country can have the security of a decent place to live”.

These reforms include:

  • Getting the right homes built in the right places with a new standardised way of calculating housng demand and a realisitic plan produced by each council.
  • Councils and developers will also be expected to use land more efficiently by avoiding building homes at low density and building higher where there is a shortage of land and in locations well served by public transport such as train stations.
  • The government will make it easier for councils to issue completion notices, shortening the timescales to require developers to start building within two years, not three, when planning permission is granted.
  • Action to help small independent builders enter the market given including through the £3 billion Home Building Fund. It will provide loans for SME builders, custom builders, offsite construction and essential infrastructure, creating thousands of new jobs in the process.

Unaffordable homes

Sajid Javid said that the average house now costs a massive eight times more than average earnings – an all-time record.

The proportion of people living in the expensive private rented sector has doubled since 2000 and more than 2.2 million working households with below-average incomes spend a third or more of their disposable income on housing.

He claimed: “Walk down your local high street today and there’s one sight you’re almost certain to see. Young people, faces pressed against the estate agent’s window, trying and failing to find a home they can afford.

“With prices continuing to sky rocket, 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.”

Chris Gowland, mortgages director of Lloyds Banking Group, added: “There’s no overnight solution to the complex challenges including assessing housing need, planning and land availability. We welcome the opportunity to help translate the White Paper into measures that could create the sustainable market we need.”

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