PlaceShapers respond to Housing White Paper

The government’s new focus on affordable homes is an important step in addressing the housing crisis, but must allow affordable rents to create a truly affordable housing market.

The Housing White Paper document, Fixing Our Broken Housing Market, was launched by communities secretary Sajid Javid  today.

PlaceShapers – more than 100 community focused housing associations – are now studying the strategy but gave an initial reaction while awaiting detail to submit a full response before the 2 May consultation deadline.

PlaceShapers chair Sinead Butters welcomed a change our focus from ownership to a wider range of affordable housing and a commitment to support housing associations to build more.

She said: “At last the government is recognising the importance of building homes not tenures and of building homes that communities need. It is clear the government recognises that different areas need different solutions and finding the flexibility to respond is key. That must include flexibility on rent so people can afford to lives in the homes from where they can build lives.

“We look forward to discussing with government rent certainty after 2020. We welcome the deregulation measures referred to in the White Paper, and are embracing the challenge to push our capacity to build more, whilst driving efficiency.  However, a certain footing for supported housing in the long term, full rent flexibility, and ensuring new build meet the needs of our communities, whatever tenure, is paramount.

“We also welcome the focus on moving away from overreliance on large developers towards local builders who know and understand local issues and can unlock sites. We are already working in partnership with our SME contractors and local authorities to do this. The tackling of nimbyism and driving local authorities to release their land are all also important steps to addressing the housing crisis.”

November 2016

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