HOUSING WHITE PAPER – WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU?

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Feb 13, 2017

The government today presented a housing White Paper to parliament which sets out to fix what Prime Minister Theresa May calls the UK’s ‘broken’ housing market. The statement to parliament, which was made at lunchtime by Communities and Local Government minister Sajid Javid, had earlier been heralded as a bold change of direction that would refocus government initiatives both on building more homes, making renting more secure and ensuring rented properties are safer.

Here are the main initiatives in more detail, many of which may soon become law or new regulations.

Build more homes, faster
The government says it will cut the ‘red tape’ around the planning process and cut the number of years a builder can sit on land before they build on it from three to two years.

Enable small and custom builders and local authorities to build again
These types of house builders have fallen by the wayside in recent years, so the government is going to support their growth and enable them to build once more.

Simplify the planning process
Sajid Javid said he wants to cut the amount of time it takes for planning permission to be granted and for local authorities to have more power to take control of a site when work has stalled.

 Build homes where they are needed
Local authorities must plan more carefully about where homes can be built and that new homes should be where people want to live, which often means near to where they work.

Help more people onto the property ladder
The government is to continue with its various first-time buyer schemes that help young people save up for – or afford – their first home.

Safer renting
The government is to crack down on rogue landlords, increase the safety and quality of existing buy-to-let properties and enable families to sign up for longer tenancies of up to three years.

Better leaseholds
Reform the leaseholds to make their conditions and clauses more transparent, prevent freeholds being sold on or traded, and leaseholders from being treated unfairly.