Building more homes, close to city centres and transport hubs is the only way to halt the decline in affordability.
That was one of the key messages from Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid ahead of proposed Government White Paper on Housing.
The government said there would be a change in focus from starter homes – which will be offered to first-time buyers at a discount – to “a wider range of affordable housing”. “Walk down your local high street today and there’s one sight you’re almost certain to see. Young people, faces pressed against the estate agent’s window, trying and failing to find a home they can afford. “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.
“The housing market in this country is broken and the solution means building many more houses in the places that people want to live.” Ahead of the White Paper’s release, ministers promised a “change of tone” from previous Tory policy with a focus on people who are renting their homes.
Key proposals in the white paper will include:
Requiring councils to publish “realistic” projections for future housing demands and review them every five years.
A drive for developers to “build higher” where there is a shortage of land, especially in areas close to key public transport hubs
Slashing the timescales for housebuilding, including requiring developers to start building within two years, rather than three.
Plans to force more transparency on developers, who will be required to show how quickly they will start new developments
Greenbelt protections must remain apart from in exceptional circumstances, Javid will say. Instead, councils will be ordered to prioritise the regeneration of derelict developments in city centres.