10:07 AM, 6th February 2017, About 6 years ago 13
In a U-turn on previous Cameron policy to promote home ownership above all else, the new May administration, under the housing Minister Gavin Barwell, is due to place more of the emphasis on helping people in the rental sector with its new Housing White Paper.
The Government will seek to assist and encourage, with the help of local councils, the building of more affordable rental homes. The definition of affordable rents being at least 20% below the market rate.
The overall target is to build 1 million new homes by 2020 and try to stem the chronic imbalance of lack of supply against ever rising demand and an increasing population.
It is anticipates that incentives will be made available to landlords for ‘family friendly’ three year guaranteed tenancies to be offered to tenants in an effort to increase stability and security for those families that want it. However, it has to be remembered that most BTL mortgage contracts prohibit the use of fixed contracts for more than 12 months so there will be practical road blocks to this that it is hope will be covered in the White Paper.
Communities secretary, Sajid Javid, said “We are determined to make housing more affordable and secure for ordinary working families and have a rental market that offers much more choice. We understand people are living longer in private rented accommodation which is why we are fixing this broken housing market so all types of home are more affordable.
“These measures will help renters have the security they need to be able to plan for the future while we ensure this is a country that works for everyone.”
There may also be Stamp Duty incentives for over 55s in an attempt to help them Downsize to smaller homes and free up larger family homes that would otherwise have been kept out of the market.
The government will re-affirm its commitment to protect Green Belt land, but wants councils to develop ambitious building plans.
Councils will be expected to target inner city sites close to transport hubs for more residential development and railway station car parks could be moved underground to make space for new homes.
Height restrictions on buildings to prevent them blocking light are set to be reduced and allow buildings as high as the existing tallest property on their block to be built without extra planning permission.
Prefabricated buildings sites should be identified allowing new homes to be completed in far less time.
There is also likely to be restrictions imposed on developers to stop Land Banking and sitting on sites that could be used straight away and selling parts of plots off at a profit instead of developing them. Developers sitting on land may then have planning permission withdrawn.
New rules may also require developers to provide a ratio of new homes for affordable rent.
Gavin Barwel said “Whether you’re trying to buy or you’re trying to rent, housing in this country has become less and less affordable, because for 30 or 40 years governments have not built enough homes and this White Paper is fundamentally trying to do something about that.”