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Housing White Paper: Is this the week when everything changes?

Interviews with ministers over the weekend suggest the government is due to change it’s housing policy and concentrate on renters.

Nigel Lewis

The Government’s much-anticipated housing White Paper is due out this week and already several government sources including housing minister Gavin Barwell have indicated that a radical shift in policy is to take place.

After nearly forty years of preferring and supporting home ownership over renting, several Whitehall sources as well as ministers have indicated they intend to tackle the rental market to make it a more secure housing option.

housing white paper Savid javidCommunities secretary Sajid Javid (pictured, left) said he wanted housing to be more affordable and that the rental market must offer more choice. He described both the rental and ownership markets as ‘broken’.

The main thrust of the White Paper is likely to include three-year long family-friendly tenancies, tougher action against rogue landlords, more ‘affordable rent’ properties within new-build developments, as well as more detail on the letting agent fees ban consultation.

Gavin Barwell housing white paperGavin Barwell (pictured, right) appeared on BBC1’s Sunday Politics TV programme and, during a grilling by presenter Andrew Neill, admitted that the government’s track record on building affordable homes was ‘embarassing’ and that wanted that to stop that in the future.

“Whether you are trying to buy or to rent, housing in this country has become less and less affordable because for thirty or forty years governments have not built enough homes and this white paper is fundamentally trying to do something about that,” he said.

And so this week we will find out what his plans to deliver more affordable homes of both kinds will be.

February 6, 2017

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