Sector - Finance & Legislation

May sets out the next steps in her housing revolution

Prime Minister Theresa May outlined the next stages of the Social Housing Green Paper agenda in her address to the Chartered Institute of Housing.

In her address, Mrs May urged the imposition of new design standards that would ensure high quality housing, increased social housing, and the further improvement of tenant rights. Her fully outlined plan for the agenda is expected to be released in September.

These urges by the PM have arisen due to the addition of one million homes predicted by September, as it should be noted that last year more additional homes were delivered than in all but one of the previous 31 years.

Mrs May stated: “This is a government with a bold vision for housing and a willingness to act on it. A government that has delivered radical reforms for today, and the permanent structural changes that will continue to benefit the country for decades to come.

“The housing shortage in this country began not because of a blip lasting one year or one Parliament, but because not enough homes were built over many decades. The very worst thing we could do would be to make the same mistake again”.

This past year, affordable housing starts have increased to 54,000 with the highest increase in the proportion of additional homes created being in Birmingham, at a soaring 80%, followed by Nottingham, at 43%, and Manchester, at 12%.

Other recent advancements, made within the housing market, include the obtaining of £2Bn in extra funding for the Affordable Housing Programme, capped deposits and abolished letting fees, and the end of “no-fault evictions”.

The Prime Minister has been careful though to state that an increase in housing will not result in declining standards as she is aware that only some councils enforce the Nationally Described Space Standards as a condition for companies to obtain planning permission.

Mrs May’s proposed standards will therefore put an end to what she has dubbed as “tenants and buyers facing a postcode lottery”, and will effectively provide acceptable housing equality across the UK.

She stated: “I cannot defend a system in which owners and tenants are forced to accept tiny homes with inadequate storage. Where developers feel the need to fill show homes with deceptively small furniture. And where the lack of universal standards encourages a race to the bottom”.

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