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Hundreds of thousands of new homes need to be built to haul Britain out of it's housing crisis

Wednesday 27 July 2016

Hundreds of thousands of new homes need to be built to haul Britain out of its housing crisis, a committee has advised.
The cross-party House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee sent the warning to the Government, along with an urge to abandon the overpowering focus placed on residents owning their own homes.
If the advice is taken, it could be good news for those in the buy-to-rent sector if the emphasis can be shifted away from ownership.
Chairman of the committee Lord Hollick, said: "It is very concerning that changes to stamp duty for landlords - the 3% hike in April - and cuts to social rent could reduce the availability of homes for rent. 
"The long term trend away from subsidising tenancies to subsidising home buyers hits the poorest hardest, and should be reversed."

300,000 homes a year

The report, Building More Homes, outlines an advised target of building 300,000 homes a year - 50% more than the existing figure.
And in an effort to speed up building, they say the Government needs to relax the rules on local authority borrowing for social housing.
In addition, the Government should encourage greater links between local councils and housing associations. 
Lord Hollick said: "Local authorities are keen to meet this challenge but they do not have the funds or the ability to borrow to embark on a major programme to build new social homes.
"It makes no sense that a local authority is free to borrow to build a swimming pool but cannot do the same to build homes."
In an effort to clampdown on the number of housing projects falling behind schedule, the report also proposes that developers should be forking out for council tax on properties not finished within a set time period.  
But this has not been welcomed with open arms, with one planning consultancy saying it could be a mistake and described the situation as 'illusory'.

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