Govt pledges to 'fix broken housing market' in white paper

Plans for building more homes and improving conditions for Britain's renters and leaseholders have been announced by the government in its White Paper, Fixing Our Broken Housing Market.

The white paper adds that the relaunched body will be tasked with getting more homes built across all tenures, "put in infrastructure to help unlock housing capacity and attract small builders and new players to diversify the market on a sustainable basis".

There will be a £3 billion home building fund to help independent builders enter the market as 60% of new homes are now built by just 10 companies.

To help first-time buyers, the White Paper will include plans for a new Lifetime ISA to help first-time buyers save for a deposit, and extends Right to Buy discounts to housing association tenants.

Martin Bellinger, chief operating officer at Essential Living, the first United Kingdom build to rent company, said: "There's been growing support for build to rent largely because ministers have realised there is almost £90bn of new money to be harvested from pension funds and institutions".

At about 13:30 GMT, house builders Persimmon, Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey were up about 2% or more after Communities Secretary Sajid Javid unveiled the paper.

"Ministers will say they want to change planning and other rules to ensure developers provide a proportion of new homes for "affordable rent" instead of just insisting that they provide a quota of "affordable homes for sale" says the newspaper.

He said: "We need a White Paper which controls, constrains and influences the behaviour of builders and lenders".

The government will also consult on plans for three-year tenancies to be offered on all BTR schemes.

A key part of the White Paper is centralised calculations about housing needs.

According to Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell, we need "all different kinds of tenure - for outright ownership, shared ownership and for renting". He also acknowledged that house prices had far outstripped incomes and that this country's housing crisis was a serious "barrier to social mobility".

Speaking to the Commons, Javid said: "Thanks to the concerted efforts of central and local government, previous year 190,000 new homes were completed, but that's still not enough". As well as this, councils are being encouraged to get more involved.

Commenting on the proposals relating to affordable accommodation, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: 'A Government that thinks affordable homes can be worth £450,000 and should be available to those on £80,000 frankly doesn't have a clue.

Overall, the government is aiming to build one million new homes by 2020.

"With prices continuing to skyrocket, if we don't act now, a whole generation could be left behind", Javid told Parliament in London.

Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, John Healey, said: "It is tragically clear from this feeble white paper that seven years of failure on housing under Conservative ministers is set to stretch to ten".

Local authorities will also be given powers and incentives to tackle empty homes and through the New Homes Bonus they can earn the same financial reward for bringing an empty home back into use as building a new one.

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