FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Commenting on today’s release of the Housing White Paper, Duncan Stott, director of Priced Out - the campaign for affordable house prices, commented:
“Today's White Paper represents a great wasted opportunity to take the genuine steps needed to build the homes that are so urgently needed in our most unaffordable communities. While Sajid Javid's rhetoric gave us hope, mere words mean achieve nothing when the substance of what he proposes is so tame.
“The White Paper's analysis of what has gone wrong is broadly sound. We strongly agree that not enough homes are being planned, particularly in unaffordable areas, and there is not enough speed and diversity in how planned homes are built. However the proposals for reform in these areas go nowhere near far enough to begin to seriously bring redress to these chronic problems. The government knows things are going wrong, but has bottled it when it comes to taking action.
‘The petty concerns of NIMBYs still override the needs of the priced-out generation’
“The green belts that choke our most unaffordable cities are in serious need of review. Much of the green belt is not beautiful, not biodiverse, and often not even green, yet no action is proposed to review the green belt to provide the needed step-change in housebuilding. Those of us forced to pay ridiculous rents and house prices caused by the housing shortage will be feeling let down by this timid approach. Even in the face of a growing housing crisis, the petty concerns of NIMBYs still override the needs of the priced-out generation.
“By ruling out green belt, the White Paper ends up relying far too heavily on brownfield and densification to meet the need for new homes. We see no evidence that these measures will come anywhere near lifting housebuilding to the levels aspired to by the government, and are also concerned that brownfield and densification are far more complex construction projects that will take longer to fulfil, running against the need to speed up housing delivery.
‘Paucity of action’
“Our over-reliance on speculative developers will barely be scratched by the paucity of action on diversity of housebuilding. Small-scale schemes on SME builders and Build To Rent are welcome as far as they go, but nowhere near enough commitment is provided to either initiative. Meanwhile there is nothing to help councils and Housing Associations build extra homes for disadvantaged and lower income households, meaning another way to get more diversity into our housing supply has been missed.
“While it is positive that the government is now finally acknowledging the need for private tenants to have access to longer-term tenancies, today's measures will only help a tiny fraction of the 11 million of us who rent privately. By only making longer tenancies potentially available to new purpose-built rental homes, the overwhelming majority of renting families will see their hopes of a stable home for their children dashed.”
PricedOut is a volunteer-run campaign calling for an end to rising house prices and an affordable housing market.
For media interview requests, please contact Reuben Young on 07399606475. For any other press query, please contact Duncan Stott on 07986854003.