A balanced long-term strategy is required if we are to solve the UK housing crisis quickly
Following yesterday’s budget announcement, Stephen Pratt, group land director at Godwin Developments, said:
“We welcome the chancellor’s ambitious plans to support the economy and invest significantly in strategic infrastructure over the next five years, including roads and railways, such as the ground-breaking HS2 project.
“The budget is a compelling confirmation that the UK government is committed to ensuring long-term economic prosperity whilst bringing balance throughout the country by creating opportunities and providing support for both individuals and businesses.
“The £12bn extension of the Affordable Homes Programme and the social housing interest rate cut for local authorities announced today are important components in addressing the UK’s housing crisis. The £1.1bn allocation from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to build 70,000 new homes in high demand areas is also a step in the right direction and we are delighted to hear that the government has pledged £400m towards the repurposing of brownfield sites across cities and towns.
“Affordable homes are high on the national agenda because the UK has been experiencing a housing crisis for years, which is fuelled by our growing population, rising urbanisation and increasing house prices.
“If we are to find a sustainable long-term solution to the housing emergency, a policy that focuses on home ownership, private rental properties and affordable housing is required.
“As a national developer with experience across a range of residential sectors, we believe that a more balanced approach is necessary – one that includes ownership as well as support for the creation of high-quality rental properties, whether at market or affordable rates.
“It is possible to build more higher standard properties in towns and cities where people want to live and work – homes that are safer, more environmentally sustainable and address the national target of 300,000 new homes per annum.
“For this target to be achievable, we need a significant increase in resources across planning departments throughout the country – we noted the chancellor’s comments on new measures to bring the planning system into the 21st century and we look forward finding out more details tomorrow. We hope these reforms will facilitate a faster approval process and an equal footing for rental and home ownership developments, so that together we can successfully – and quickly – regenerate industrial wastelands into thriving communities.”