The Conservative party conference yesterday saw one of the busiest days for housing-related announcements including reveals from Chancellor Sajid Javid, Housing Secretary Robert Kenrick and Housing Minister Esther McVey, all of whom were treading the main and side-stage boards in Manchester.
One of the key themes, and one that’s repeated at every Tory annual gathering, was the need for ‘young people’ to be helped on to the property ladder.
But this year reality bit a little and for example Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick (pictured, above) admitted that his department was taking a more multi-tenure approach to housing provision in the UK, whatever the political slogans may be.
- £5bn has been earmarked to support the roll-out of broadband, 5G and other gigabit-capable networks to the hardest-to-reach 20 per cent of the country.
- The UK needs to build more homes of all tenures and not just focus on homes for sale.
- This year, Jenrick promised that the UK will see more homes built than last year’s 220,000, which if true would be the highest annual total since the 1960s.
- A new ‘style guide’ for councils is to be published to help them when giving planning permission for developments to ensure they look good and are leafy and green – quality not quantity.
- A commitment to fund more affordable homes both through new spending and lifting the borrowing cap for local councils was announced.
- Homeowners will be able to build up to two stories on top of detached houses without planning permission. Read more about this in our separate report.
- More routes to ownership. Jenrick is to enable housing associations a ‘right to buy’ their home via a shared ownership scheme starting with all new properties to be built.
- ‘Planning revolution’ to streamline and simplify many parts of the process.
- She wants to turn the house building sector into a ‘high tech’ industry that could be worth £40 billion, more than the car industry, by which – we think – she meant ramping up the rate at which the UK embraces the modern method of construction or ‘modular homes’.