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White paper to fix ‘broken’ housing market

News   •   Feb 07, 2017 11:02 GMT

A new housing strategy for England is to be unveiled by the government today in its eagerly awaited housing white paper.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid described the plans as “radical” as the government seek to build 250,000 homes each year to tackle the housing shortage.

As part of the housing white paper, smaller companies will have access to a £3Bn fund to help them build more homes. Currently, just ten large firms build 60 % of new properties.

Councils will be forced to have an up-to-date plan for local housing demand and given powers to speed up the process of building new homes.

The time between the granting of planning permission and breaking ground on a project will also be cut from three to two years.

The green belt will remain protected with the government citing only exceptional circumstances as a reason to adjust green belt boundaries.

In an effort to boost young people’s ability to save for a deposit, a lifetime ISA will launched in April giving them a 25% bonus on up to £4,000 of savings a year.

Elderly people will be offered incentives such as help towards moving costs or reduction in stamp duty to downsize their homes to free up larger properties for people with families.

Mr Javid is expected to say: “Walk down your local high street today and there’s one sight you’re almost certain to see. Young people, faces pressed against the estate agent’s window, trying and failing to find a home they can afford.

“With prices continuing to skyrocket, if we don’t act now, a whole generation could be left behind. 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.”

The government’s plans will not just focus on people looking to purchase their own homes but will also seek to help people wishing to rent, with longer-term tenancies to provide more security.

Mr Javid told BBC Radio 4 that the choice between ownserhip and renting is “false”. He said: The reality is we need more homes, whether to rent or buy.”

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