Housing White Paper 2017

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Few days ago the Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced a new set of policies in the Commons, which the government says will alleviate the housing crisis in the UK. The plans are aimed at both first time buyers as well as renters.

Some of the policies have been previously announce with some additional pledges to help renters and buyers.

Here are the main points.

Ban on letting agent fees for souring property for tenants.
A new Build to Rent Scheme aimed at institutional investors to build property, purpose build for renting with a guaranteed three year minimum tenancy.
Maintain Starter Home initiative introduced by the Cameron government.
Tackle unfair leasehold terms for house buyers (recently highlighted by the BBC).
“Use it or Loose it” policy on land owning developers with planning permission, where the development needs to take place within two years.
According to a spokesman for the Local Government Association, 9 out of 10 approved planning applications do not go on to being a new property. This is a case in many instances an investor adding value to a piece of land by obtaining planning permission before selling it on.

UK is supposed to require 200,000 new homes a year to keep up with demand. In London alone 50,000 household are in temporary accommodation.

Other highlights include.

-Every part of the country to have an up to date transparent housing policy allowing local communities to decide where development takes place.

-Maximise land for development from brown field sites, surplus public land and smaller sites in high density areas; with greater transparency on who owns land and planning permission granted

-Housing Infrastructure Fund of £2.3 billion.

-Another £3billion Home Building fund for small and medium size builders (announced previously) to build 25,000 new homes by 2020.

-Greater flexbility for local authorities to approve planning permission to improve speed and reliability and deny unnecessary appeals.

-Approval of newer construction methods to boost productivity compared to traditional builders.

-New rules making it easier to obtain planning to demolish offices and replace with residential homes on a like for like basis.

-Aim to reduce and prevent homelessness through advance support for those at risk.

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