Theresa May to call for bigger and better new builds

Michael Lloyd

June 26, 2019

Prime Minister Theresa May will call for regulations to mandate developers to build higher-quality housing today.

Addressing the Chartered Institute of Housing conference later today May (pictured) will call for more high-quality social housing, better tenant rights, and demand landlords demonstrate how they have acted on concerns raised.

Currently, some local authorities make Nationally Described Space Standards a condition of granting planning permission. But many do not – and even where standards are applied, they are not mandatory.

May will say: “I cannot defend a system in which owners and tenants are forced to accept tiny homes with inadequate storage where developers feel the need to fill show homes with deceptively small furniture and where the lack of universal standards encourages a race to the bottom.”

The Prime Minister will say the current rules have resulted in an uneven playing field, with different rules in different parts of the country, leaving “tenants and buyers facing a postcode lottery.”

She will say that mandatory regulations would be universal, and provide a clear, national standards – potentially leading to increased housebuilding.

May will also confirm plans to end so-called “no-fault” evictions, with a consultation to be published shortly.

The Prime Minister is also expected to set out next steps on the Social Housing Green Paper agenda, with an action plan expected in September.

Whilst admitting there is more to do, May will say that reforms have made it easier to get homes built in the right places – including via the £5.5bn housing infrastructure fund, and by giving local authorities greater freedom to use brownfield sites.

Her intervention comes as figures indicate that by Autumn a million homes will have been added in under five years.

In Manchester, the number of extra homes being created is up 12%, in Nottingham by 43%, and in Birmingham by 80%. The number of affordable housing starts has also increased to nearly 54,000 this year.

May said: “This is a government with a bold vision for housing and a willingness to act on it.

“A government that has delivered radical reforms for today, and the permanent structural changes that will continue to benefit the country for decades to come.

“The housing shortage in this country began not because of a blip lasting one year or one Parliament, but because not enough homes were built over many decades.

“The very worst thing we could do would be to make the same mistake again.”

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