07 March, 2017
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has issued a Housing White Paper entitled 'Fixing our broken housing market' setting out the challenges and opportunities in relation to housing.
The paper contains a number of proposals with the Government intending to boost housing supply and in the long term create a more efficient housing market that matches the needs and aspirations of all households.
Through a four step approach, the Government is proposing to deliver a fix to the housing crisis by:
Step 1: Planning for the right homes in the right places
The Government's initial steps proposes to have an ambitious local up to date plan whereby local communities decide where development goes. This localised approach calls for a number of proposals including:
Step 2: Building homes faster
The Government says that building homes faster can be achieved through a number means:
Step 3: Diversifying the market
One of the causes of the current crisis is the insufficient number of houses being build each year with supply not satisfying demand. The Government proposes to increase supply by enabling a greater and to some extent different parties to be involved in house building including:
Step 4: Helping people now
Whether steps 1-3 will deliver only time will tell. Essentially step 4 looks at the here and now and the Government is proposing to deliver for people in the here and now by:
The Government's plan is an ambitious one. Approaching this issue through a national framework that is to be applied and designed at local level is important to ensure that delivery responds to local needs. Similarly linking it to other priorities is important such as infrastructure, regeneration and diversification of parties involved in investment and housing delivery whether it is institutional investors, SMEs or contractors.
Local authorities and housing associations have been identified as important players in providing solutions. Local authorities clearly have a role whether it is in identifying local needs, at the planning stage, ensuring accountability from developers and making land available.
At the same time housing associations can also be considered a very important partner as many are at the forefront of building new homes, regenerating estates and providing good quality and affordable housing to many who are priced out of the current market whether to rent or buy. Similarly, housing associations are experienced in working with a range of parties' in house delivery including SMEs and to a certain extent institutional investors.
Some housing associations are also at the forefront of using innovation in house building and ensuring sustainable homes and communities are built. Based on their experience in continuing to deliver on house supply, they can be a key partner in the years to come to provide a solution to the current crisis whether it is through being given land to build on, setting up joint ventures for new development or regenerating existing estates.
For more information contact Lucy Worrall in our Housing & Regeneration department via email or phone on 01254 222393. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.