Pleased to see the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid, yesterday announce new plans to tackle the growing need for housing solutions in the UK.
An average home in the UK now costs almost 8 times average earnings, and average-sized deposits are estimated to take people around 24 years to save for, over 20 years longer than in the 1990s. Clearly more work is needed to tackle housing issues, and the outlined measures show a commitment towards achieving this.
The new planned measures include;
- Insisting that local areas have housing plans, renewable every 5 years, and allowing local planning departments to raise the fees they charge by 20% from July 2017 if they commit to investing this money within their planning department
- Giving local authorities the tools they need to build more swiftly, and ensuring that they do not put up with applicants who secure planning permission but never use it
- More home building, alongside necessary community development including GP surgeries, schools, road and rail links, parks and playgrounds
- Diversifying the housing market, opening it up to smaller builders and supporting local housing associations to build more
- Investing in affordable housing
- Banning unfair letting agent fees so that those on the rental market are not penalised for being unable to buy
- Making it easier for people to build their own homes
It is important to remember that the housing problems we are seeing now did not spring up overnight – they are the product of many successive governments’ policies and cannot be solved instantly. But with the right cooperation and coordination between central government, local authorities, the private sector and communities, we can work to deliver the homes that Britain so desperately needs.