Industry reacts to housing pledges by government

Jessica Nangle

November 21, 2019

Housing needs to stop being an afterthought in the election campaign, according to Sam Howard, managing director of Magnet Capital.

As the political parties gear up for the General Election on the 12 December and unveil their manifestos, Howard said more needs to be done to help a housing market that is not “fit for purpose”.

He said: “I have been struck by how little coverage the main political parties have given housing so far in this election campaign.

“Whatever your political stance, the housing market is currently not fit for purpose.”

This comes after the political parties unveiled their plans for the sector, including the Lib Dems’ vow to build more houses and Labour’s recent amendments to their controversial Right to Buy plans.

Howard continued: “We are not building nearly enough houses, of the right quality in the right places at the right prices.

“We need a root and branch approach which will ensure that from the top down, more land is released for building, that the local council planning authorities are properly resourced, that SME developers have the means to compete with the big housebuilders who are currently monopolising the market with poor quality homes.

“We need to ensure that we have a skilled labour force and that we are incentivising housebuilders to build environmentally sustainable homes.

“A lot to ask for but Britain’s housing crisis needs to be at the forefront of this election.”

Howard’s comments come after a the UK housing market was analysed by Lucian Cook at the latest annual ASTL conference.

Cook from Savills, described 2019 as not being an “easy process” for the UK housing market thanks to political uncertainty and tax changes.

Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, outlined his take on the Conservative’s latest housing policy and their aims moving forward.

On the Conservatives’ website, Jenrick explains that as Housing Secretary, he said he “wants to ensure that residents living in new housing association homes are given the opportunity of climbing onto the property ladder by giving them the right to shared ownership of their homes.

“This means that tenants in new stock will have an automatic right to buy a share of their home, as little as 10%, and increase that share over time.

“I also look forward to working with housing associations on a voluntary basis to open this opportunity to those living in existing properties.

“As Conservatives we know that owning a home is not just about the four walls around you, it’s about investing in your family, saving for the future and putting down roots in a community.

“We are on the side of hard-working people who want to play their part in our property-owning democracy.”

The Conservatives are set to launch their manifesto on Thursday 21 November which will outline their specific housing pledges.

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