Today saw the publication of the long awaited, much trailed Housing White Paper. Announced by Sajid Javid, Secretary of State as
“ambitious proposals to help fix the housing market so that more ordinary working people from across the country can have the security of a decent place to live”
The White Paper acknowledges the scale of the housing crisis facing the country and recognises the fact that governments of all persuasions have not been able to sufficiently ramp up house building to meet with the backlog of under supply and projected future need. The Government’s White Paper aims to change this but the discussions in advance were focused on whether the proposals set out today are the catalyst needed or is the housing industry the proverbial slow turning oil tanker?
The White Paper sets out a series of recommendations addressing common approaches to planning for housing need, barriers in the planning process, support for Local Authorities in speeding up delivery of new homes, and the need to bring new entrants to the market place. Underneath the headlines there is a significant amount of detailed policy proposals that the Northern Housing Consortium welcomes.
The White Paper also rebalances policy focus away from home ownership and acknowledges the need to ensure the rental market is operating efficiently providing good quality secure accommodation for those who choose to rent.
The NHC is pleased that we have this Housing White Paper. It is a mature acknowledgement of the benefits that a shared approach to policy development can bring. We will work with the Government and our members to support this White Paper and work collaboratively to help refine and improve where we believe policy initiatives need further consideration.
The NHC has worked with members and sector experts to deliver the Commission for Housing in the North and we are pleased that the White Paper reinforces messages from the Commission such as consideration of wider tenure issues, the need to ensure quality across the rental sector, and capacity support for local authorities to ensure the right housing is delivered in the right place. The White Paper is not unsurprisingly light on issues around regeneration but we call upon the Government to ensure the Northern Powerhouse Strategy – released alongside the Autumn Statement – picks up this mantle to ensure that housing and regeneration are recognised as tools to support the economic renaissance of the North.
The NHC looks forward to working with members and government on our detailed response to the White Paper and more details on our forthcoming member engagement roundtables are available on our website www.northern-consortium.org.uk
For further information please contact Member Engagement Manager, Callum Smith, on 0191 566 1029 or email firstname.lastname@example.org