Reform UK housing, urges think tank

8 May 2018
shutterstock_774569002 [Converted]-01

The UK’s housing market must be dramatically reformed, according to the Resolution Foundation.

It urged the government to promote Build to Rent, cut taxes for first-time and low-income buyers, limit sales in ‘hotspot’ locations to British residents, subsidise private sector rents and introduce indeterminate tenancies to England.

The measures are designed to address the growing problem of unaffordability for young people in the UK. The Resolutions Foundation predicts that, without radical change, one in three of the Millennial Generation (aged between 20 and 35) will never own a property.

“Britain’s housing problems have developed into a full-blown crisis over recent decades and young people are bearing the brunt,” said Lyndsay Judge, senior policy analyst at the Foundation. She argues that improved conditions for families living in private rented accommodation means “raising the standards and reducing the risks associated with renting through tenancy reform and light touch rent stabilisation.”

The Resolution Foundation proposes that private sector rents rises should follow inflation and that English landlords should be obliged to register with local authorities. A stamp duty surcharge for buyers of additional properties should subsidise local authorities to deliver high quality, affordable developments.

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) criticised the proposals, arguing that rent controls would force low income families into the hands of rogue landlords, as professional landlords would become more selective in their choice of tenants.

“At a time of demand for private rented homes massively outstripping supply, rent controls will cause the sector to shrink,” said Dave Cox, ARLA chief executive.