In the 12 months of housing – our government gave to us
12 December 2018
It was once said that a week is a long time in politics but recently it has felt that an hour is a lifetime. With all that is happening right now, and with 2019 rapidly approaching, it feels like the right time to pause and reflect on what has been a momentous year for housing.
So, deep breath…. In the 12 months of 2018, housing policy gave to us:
Letwin review published
Social housing green paper consulted
HRA cap abolished
Revised NPPF adopted
New design commission
London Plan consulted
Strategic partnerships agreed*
Estate regeneration ballots implemented
Strategic plan released*
Forward funding for housing
And Help to Buy to 2023
In addition to the above we also saw a new Secretary of State in James Brokenshire and (another) new Housing Minister, with Kit Malthouse taking over the remit. To reflect the importance of housing as one of the key domestic priorities for the Prime Minister, the department had a name change to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
A shift on social housing
However, for me, the biggest change that we saw this year has been the relationship between Government and social housing. 2018 saw a significant shift in government attitudes to both those who live in social housing and those who provide social housing.
This was demonstrated through the Social Housing Green Paper, the Prime Minister’s speech at the National Housing Federation conference and the lifting of the Housing Revenue Account cap so that local authorities can build social rented homes.
What does 2019 hold for housing?
There will no doubt be a number of crystal ball blogs published in the coming weeks, but with the continued chaos over Brexit and indeed who will be the future Prime Minister it is all but impossible to say with any certainty what will happen.
We know that the market is cooling, that we don’t have enough construction workers, and that if we are to build the homes, especially, the affordable homes that the country needs, then much more public money is required.
London needs 65,000 homes built a year and England as a whole needs 300,000 built a year. In order to meet these numbers, we need more land, more money and better ways of building. Our Building London Summit in January will explore these key areas, and much more. If your crystal ball is as cloudy as mine, our experts on the day maybe able to provide that much needed clarity.
* Homes England
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