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A Housing Strategy for England 2012

Briefing Paper

This paper summarises the government’s housing strategy for England published in November 2011. This states that ‘one of the most important things each generation can do for the next is to build high quality homes that will stand the test of time’. They go on to tell us that for decades in Britain we have under-built.

By the time the current Government came to office, house building rates had reached lows not seen in peace-time since the 1920s. The economic and social consequences of this failure have affected millions: costing jobs; forcing growing families to live in cramped conditions; leaving young people without much hope that they will ever own a home of their own.

The housing strategy papers states that these problems have been entrenched over decades and have deepened over the past few years. The housing market is one of the biggest victims of the credit crunch: lenders won’t lend, so builders can’t build and buyers can’t buy. That lack of confidence is visible in derelict building sites and endless ‘For Sale’ signs. It is doing huge damage to the United Kingdom economy and our society, so it is right for government to step in and take bold action to unblock the market. That action is detailed in the Housing Strategy.

The government considers that: ‘This is a radical and unashamedly ambitious strategy’. The opening summary of thenew strategy paper identifies two main aims:

  • First, to help drive local economies and create jobs. Unblocking the market will provide a much-needed boost to employment.
  • Second, these plans are designed to spread opportunity in our society. For too long, millions have been locked out of home ownership.

With this strategy, the government hopes to unlock the housing market, get Britain building again, and give many more people the satisfaction and security that comes from stepping over their own threshold. The government says that these plans are ambitious – but they are determined to deliver on them.

It is well known that housing should provide a secure foundation for individuals to live the lives they want to live. Finding the right home, in the right place, can be an essential platform for people seeking to support their families and sustain work.

Housing is an increasingly important asset: families can draw on the wealth stored in housing to open up new opportunities – such as education, or helping the next generation to secure their own homes.

But too many families struggle to meet their housing needs. It has become too difficult for many households who wish to be homeowners to secure the mortgage they require. Many households face rising rents, social housing is not always providing the right support to the people who need it most and the slow pace of new housing supply means that England is missing out on economic growth and on jobs.

To download the full briefing paper click HERE

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