Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, British Property Federation comments:
“The UK needs more homes, and it is good to see Government being bold and putting the steps in place to speed this up. 2018 must be a year of housing delivery if Government has any chance of reaching its target of 1.5 million new homes by 2022.
“Government has rightly strengthened its position on the need for multi-tenure housing delivery, faster delivery of homes and higher density of homes in the right places. Those building homes-for-sale won’t be able to achieve this alone. We need a housing sector firing on all cylinders. Investors and developers in Build-to-Rent – new, professionally-managed homes built for renters – can offer both faster delivery and higher density. The Build-to-Rent sector is in turn fully committed to revolutionising the UK’s rental market with longer-term, family-friendly tenancies for customers who require additional security.
“Currently, methods employed to calculate housing need vary significantly across the country and result in significant time and cost burdens, fundamental flaws that will impede an ambitious housebuilding programme if not resolved. We strongly support the standardised approach to assessing housing need without exception. That is the way that the Government will deliver on its housing promises, and as importantly, cater for a generation that wants to have a home to call their own.
“The five new towns are an important measure to support continued housing supply in the UK, but their delivery is probably beyond 2022 and therefore not applicable to the target of 1.5 million homes by 2022. It is good that Government is thinking long-term, however, beyond a Parliament, and we would like to see such new towns getting all-party support.
“Today’s measures cannot be seen in isolation and must be matched by ambitious capital spending on infrastructure. The Housing Infrastructure Fund is a great start, but local councils must also deliver the social infrastructure – school places, health care facilities, employment land – that all make a community possible.
“While we agree today’s measures will support a more effective planning system, local planning authorities have suffered for too long from a lack of resource and it is vital that Government pays this more attention and ensures that it takes steps to attract young people to planning as an attractive career option.”