In a speech on 30th June Boris Johnson launched his ‘build, build, build’ approach to social and economic recovery included a significant focus on housing.
The Prime Minister’s focus on housing and the commitment to look at public land use has been welcomed, but concerns have been raised about the lack of commitment and detail on social rented homes, as well as the potential of relaxing planning laws to lead to poorer quality homes.
Key details from the speech are:
- A commitment to build 180,000 affordable homes for ownership and rent over the next 8 years. MHCLG have since confirmed that the £12.2bn over five years announced at Budget is unchanged.
- A 1,500 pilot of First Homes to be included in the Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
- Changes to planning, including allowing more commercial buildings to change to residential use and allowing homeowners to extend upwards via a fast-track approval process.
- A planning policy paper to be published in July setting out ‘a plan for comprehensive reform of England’s planning system’
- A commitment to look at how land owned by the government can be managed more effectively, with a new, ambitious strategy to be published before the spending review.
- An additional £450m for the Home Builders Fund to help smaller developers access finance for new housing developments, which will deliver around 7,200 homes.
- Confirmation that the £400m for building on brownfield sites announced in the March Budget will support around 24,000 homes, and will be allocated to the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Liverpool City Region, Sheffield City Region, and North of Tyne and Tees Valley combined authorities.
The National Housing Federation spoke with the Housing Minister, Chris Pincher, after the Prime Minister’s speech and emphasised the need for clarity and made the case for flexibility in the current programme with the vital role social rent should play as part of the affordable housing mix.