The Housing White Paper, released on 7th February 2017, seeks to reform our "broken housing market" by attempting to tackle failures across the entire housing system. Can the government fix it? In the words of Bob the Builder the White Paper sends out a clear message - "Yes, we can!"
Key areas of focus emerging from the White Paper include building more houses at an increased delivery rate, identifying preferred areas of land and reducing administrative burdens. There is also increased attention on diversifying the housing market to improve accessibility to housing which in turn will future-proof our volatile market.
The market is in crisis as a result of demand simply outweighing supply. There are three challenges:
- To build more homes
- To build quicker
- Encourage innovation
The government in supporting wider economic prosperity aims to build more homes by ensuring each local authority creates a Local Plan and has a uniform methodology for calculating 'objectively assessed need' for housing. Building more quickly will be possible by creating a clearer planning process and ensuring promised developments are constructed in good time and land is not 'sat on', which in conjunction with using a range of housebuilders and promoting factory built homes will encourage innovation and tackle our housing crisis.
Although the process will not drastically change our housing market for a number of years, steps are now being taken to provide an accessible housing market. We should see greater affordability and removing the barriers to providing many more houses at a rate that matches the demand with our growing population. As our famous animated builder and friends say, working together will get the job done.
Ashfords Planning Team shall continue to follow the Housing White Paper and produce further updates as changes to the housing market develop.