With 8.4 million people in England currently living in an unaffordable, insecure or unsuitable home, the UK’s housing crisis is a major and complex issue in need of immediate attention.
However, not nearly enough is being done to relieve the dearth of new and affordable homes. The National Housing Federation estimates for the year ending March 2019, the UK failed to deliver an additional 170,000 homes needed for what is required to meet long-term demand. So, what is the government doing to ensure housing remains both accessible and affordable for first-time buyers through to seasoned property investors?
Last week at the 2019 Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick laid out a new series of policy ideas in an attempt to tackle the problem. The touted reforms include allowing housing association tenants to buy a portion of their homes while also letting current homeowners add two storeys to their existing property without planning permission.
These creative and necessary changes were praised by many, including Paresh Raja, CEO of Market Financial Solutions. As is usually the case, Paresh was called upon by major trade press titles asking whether he thought the proposals were sufficient. Mortgage Introducer focused on whether the shared ownership changes could be extended to those already living in housing associations, and Paresh was quoted in the story welcoming the plans as a means of making it easier for developers to get shovels in the ground.
He also mentioned in the article the need for the government to follow-through on its commitment. “Given the current state of politics, nowadays any big policy announcement needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Having the vision is one thing, the challenge is ensuring political posturing translates into actual policy and action,” he was quoted as saying.
At the conference, Chancellor Sajid Javid also announced new investment into infrastructure to connect new developments, including a new roads package worth £29 billion over the next five years. Housing publication Show House framed this as a “spending revolution”, presenting Paresh as an expert in the field as he hailed the “creative reforms” which laid down a blueprint that goes beyond the Brexit deadline.
At MFS, we ensure our network of brokers and property investor clients are readily informed about the most pertinent issues affecting the bridging sector and property market. Having featured in close to 150 press titles in 2019 alone, we understand and value the importance of leading informed discussions in the public domain, ensuring brokers, property investors and financial professionals are abreast of the latest trending news.