UK Housing White Paper to Address ‘Crisis’

7 February 2017

Aiming to spur construction of a million new homes by 2020, the UK government’s Housing White Paper today sets out a series of new measures.

The main points are:

  • Councils must produce an up-to-date plan to deal with housing demand
  • Developers should avoid ‘low density’ housing in areas of high demand
  • Time allowed from planning permission to start of construction reduced from three years to two years
  • Launch of a £3 billion fund to assist smaller developers challenge larger ones, with provision for off-site factory construction of building parts
  • Launch of a ‘lifetime ISA’ to help first time buyers to save for a deposit

The Communities Secretary Sajid Javid will tell the House of Commons that the housing market is ‘broken’ and that radical measures are needed to address the problem.

“With prices continuing to skyrocket, if we don’t act now, a whole generation could be left behind. We need to do better, and that means tackling the failures at every point in the system,” he 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.”

There will also be a new push for a wider range of affordable housing across the UK, as figures show that the construction of such homes has reached a 24-year low.

The opposition Labour Party’s John Healey commented: “The measures announced so far in Theresa May’s long-promised housing white paper are feeble beyond belief. After seven years of failure and a thousand housing announcements, the housing crisis is getting worse not better.”