Housing Minister Gavin Barwell admitted yesterday on the BBC’s Sunday Politics that the recent government record on affordable housing was ‘embarrassing’ and, ahead of the publication of the White Paper, the government said the ‘housing market is broken’.
Currently there are 4.3 million people in private rental homes. It is likely that for the first time in decades, councils will be encouraged to get involved in building homes for affordable rent, at least 20% below the market.
There will also be more help for those prefer to rentby reducing the cost of rentals and increasing the length of tenancy agreements. Planning rules will be relaxed to enable more homes to be built for rent by developers as part of their obligations to fund affordable homes.
However, the White Paper will also reaffirm the Tories commitment to reversing the decline in home ownership with new initiatives on this front too, not least because the manifesto they were elected on promised that ‘everyone who works hard should be able to own a home of their own’.
The report in The Guardian today, ahead of the White paper, says that the Tories accept the system is ‘broken’ and will offer greater rights for tenants and more opportunity for young people to buy their first home. I hope it is truly a change of direction towards more practical options that will begin to address the housing crisis.
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