The housing white paper is set to propose a consultation to allow developers to offer more affordable rent, encourage more long-term build to rent and ensure starter homes are available to people with households incomes under £80,000 outside of London.
The long-awaited white paper – with the tagline ‘Fixing our broken housing market’ - will claim to set out ‘new measures to ensure the housing market works for everyone, including people on lower incomes, renters, disabled and older people’.
Starter homes and affordable housing will be re-prioritised, with government saying starter homes will be targeted at first time buyers who would otherwise be priced out of the market.
It said: ‘We intend to make clear through the NPPF that starter homes like shared ownership homes, should be available to households that need them most, with an income of less than £80,000 (£90,000 for London).
‘The result of these changes means we will change our focus from starter homes to a wider range of affordable housing.’
As trailed at the weekend, the government plans to introduce measures to tackle the high cost of renting ‘at the heart of its plan to fix the broken housing market’. That also involves ensuring longer-term tenancies are available in private rented schemes to provide more stability to families that are renting.
Government is now working closely with the British Property Federation and National Housing Federation ‘to ensure that these longer-tenancies become widely available’.
The government is restating its commitment to affordable housing, with its £1.4bn for our Affordable Homes Programme, taking total investment in this programme to over £7bn to build around 225,000 affordable homes in this Parliament. It said it has opened up the programme, relaxing restrictions on funding so providers can build a range of homes including for affordable rent, along with Rent to Buy homes alongside shared ownership.
However, there is no mention of social rent.
Launching the white paper later today (7 February 2017), Communities Secretary Sajid Javid is expected to say that the current system is not working and is one of the greatest barriers to progress in Britain today.
He will highlight research that shows the average house now costs eight times more than average earnings – an all-time record.
Mr Javid is set to say: ‘We need to do better, and that means tackling the failures at every point in the system.
‘The housing market in this country is broken and the solution means building many more houses in the places that people want to live.
‘Today we are setting out ambitious proposals to help fix the housing market so that more ordinary working people from across the country can have the security of a decent place to live. The only way to halt the decline in afford ability and help more people onto the housing ladder is to build more homes. Let’s get Britain building.’
They will also consult on a range of measures to tackle all unfair and unreasonable abuses of leasehold.