White Paper plan to fix England’s ‘broken’ housing market

Sajid Javid
Sajid Javid

The UK government will today unveil its latest attempt to fix the broken housing market in England, moving away from full home ownership to a mixed housing model.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid said Britain is lagging behind schedule on building the 250,000 new homes needed each year and the housing White Paper will speed up planning and loan funding for smaller house builders.

The new housing strategy for England includes forcing councils to plan for their local housing needs and giving them powers to pressure developers to start building on land they own.

Measures include:

  • Forcing councils to produce an up-to-date plan for housing demand
  • Expecting developers to avoid “low density” housing where land availability is short
  • Reducing the time allowed between planning permission and the start of building from three to two years
  • Using a £3bn fund to help smaller building firms challenge major developers, including support for off-site construction, where parts of buildings are assembled in a factory
  • A “lifetime ISA” to help first-time buyers save for a deposit
  • Maintaining protection for the green belt, which can only be built on “in exceptional circumstances”

The government’s aim is to help small firms build more than 25,000 new homes by 2020 with loans from a £3 billion fund that will also support for off-site construction and essential infrastructure.

There are also plans to give councils more powers to build homes as well as introducing a Lifetime ISA from April 2017.

To support the growing build to rent sector, ministers also want greater security for renters with longer-term tenancies in the private sector.

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

“Today we are setting out ambitious 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.

“The only way to halt the decline in affordability and help more people onto the housing ladder is to build more homes. Let’s get Britain building.”

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