The government has revealed their plans to address the ongoing undersupply of properties in the UK, with the publication of a new White Paper.
Entitled ‘Fixing Our Broken Housing Market’, the White Paper aims to address the lack of affordable homes across the country, by creating new initiatives and involving local authorities and contractors more closely in the process.
Addressing the House of Commons earlier today, Communities and Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid, claimed that the housing market needed to diversify, with the dream of home ownership now a ‘faraway dream’ for most UK residents.
Speeding up the process of construction
Highlighting the fact that the UK has been home to the lowest rate of housebuilding in Western Europe for the last 30 years, Mr Javid stated that an additional 225,000 to 275,000 new homes need to be built each year.
Acknowledging that the target to produce 1 million new homes by 2020 is currently behind schedule, the secretary announced that a £3bn fund has been allocated towards assisting smaller and medium-sized developers to become more competitive in the market.
Mr Javid also revealed that more public land will be freed up more quickly, in order to create new sites for development.
Diversifying the market
In addition to tackling the shortage of properties for sale, the Secretary also announced plans to tackle the undersupply in the rental market.
The minister said that the UK needs better quality homes in the private rented sector, as well as offering more transparent and safe tenures, following a doubling in demand for rental properties over the past decade.
Mr Javid also highlighted the suggestion to encourage longer 3-year tenancies for new Build-to-Rent properties, with the aim of making the rental market more ‘family friendly’.
To enable developers to offer affordable private rented homes, there will also be changes made to the National Planning Policy Framework, leading local authorities to more proactively plan where Build-to-Rent properties are needed.
Local authorities will become a key part of the housing process, said Mr Javid, with the government aiming to work with them at least once every five years, in order to meet the unique demands of each location in the UK.
The publication of today’s White Paper, follows the promises made by Chancellor Philip Hammond in last year’s Autumn Statement to address the undersupply of properties in the UK.