Earlier this year, the government released their hotly anticipated Housing White Paper. For most amateur landlords with perhaps just one or two rental properties this subject may seem overbearing. But bear with us. Perhaps all landlords should now take the government’s stance on the housing market more seriously given the explosion in England’s population.

Importantly, the paper explains in detail how the government plans to improve the UK housing market. The most important issues covered include plans to increase overall housing supply as well as support households in general by developing a more coherent housing market. Make no mistake – increasing housing supply is an impossible task for the UK government to achieve alone. It’s also crucial to see backing from local authorities and communities, private developers, housing associations and lenders if we are going to see real progress. Even with a determined focus it will more than likely take decades to resolve what many now call a ‘broken housing market’.

What about making changes right now?

‘Long-term’ plans always sound promising, but what about the here and now? The government has made assurances to help people find properties. The considerations include:

  • Helping people buy or rent a home
  • Improving the options given to the elderly
  • Supporting the most vulnerable in society
  • Preventing homelessness

Read what local authorities, private developers, local communities, housing associations, lenders, and utility companies are being offered in return for their help here on page 17:

List of government propositions within the Housing White Paper

The Housing White Paper has laid out a four step plan for improving the housing market. We have summarised some of the key points in this article, but you can read the full list on pages 18-19 here:

Step 1: ‘Planning for the right homes in the right places’
  • Ensuring local communities can decide where development goes
  • Guaranteeing plans derive from honest assessments of local needs
  • Greater transparency over who owns land
  • Allowing more land to build new settlements where needed
  • Maintaining the strong protection of the Green Belt
  • Offering communities a louder voice in the design of new housing
Step 2: ‘Building homes faster’
  • Reducing chance of local plans to be undermined
  • Speeding up time taken to handle planning cases
  • Coordinating Government investments to provide infrastructure in the right place quickly
  • Build connections with utilities to prevent hold ups
  • Tackling unnecessary delays due to planning conditions
  • Growth of construction workforce
  • More transparent data and responsibility for developers to deliver properties
  • Introduction of new housing delivery test
Step 3: ‘Diversifying the market’
  • Backing the growth of small and medium-sized builders
  • More support to custom-build homes
  • Appointing new contractors that can build homes quicker than traditional builders
  • Encouraging more institutional investors into the housing market
  • Supporting local authorities and housing associations
  • Implementing modern construction methods for house building
Step 4: ‘Helping people now’
  • Encouraging people to buy their own homes
  • Supporting households who are priced out to afford a property that’s right for them
  • Fairer renting for tenants
  • Promoting transparency with increasing amount of leaseholders
  • Clamping down on empty houses to improve neighbourhoods
  • Focusing on developing properties that suit the needs of our future population
  • Supporting the most vulnerable people with their housing
  • Reducing rough sleeping and preventing homelessness before it happens

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