Affordable rent measures promised in housing White Paper

I fear my personal experience of attempting to defend the Green Belt is about to become the template for a nationwide assault

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid will say the proposals will help people now priced out of buying a home and bring more stability to renters across England.

"We are now too dependent on a small number of large developers building new homes, which is limiting the range of sites and housing types being delivered".

Building the housing our future needs should not be seen as a race to protect as much local land as possible, but as a partnership between multiple local authorities, developers, large employers and the Government.

A £3 billion home-building fund aims to help small firms as 60% of new dwellings are now constructed by just 10 companies.

A "lifetime ISA" will help first-time buyers save for a deposit.

The government is also proposing to make the private rented sector more family-friendly by taking steps to promote longer tenancy agreements.

But this government seems to speak with two voices on housing: the communities department wants to shift the balance of power firmly towards new development in places people want to live, but Number 10 and some influential Tory backbenchers are sympathetic to the passionate concerns of those who wish to protect the countryside and particularly the green belt.

"Absolutely we want to be a Government that helps people that are working hard to get on to the housing ladder, but if you are going to have a country that works for everyone you have to have something to say to people that want to rent a home as well".

The paper also says the government will "increase transparency around land ownership" in order show where land is available for housing and when organisations are sitting on land suitable for housing and not building on it.

"In short, we have to build more of the right houses in the right places, and we have to start right now".

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Local authorities should also develop strategies to maximise the use of land in their areas, it said, while outlining plans to support brownfield development, ensure the continued protection of green belt land and to use surplus land already in public ownership.

A key part of the White Paper is centralised calculations about housing needs.

Labour's shadow housing minister John Healey is not impressed. He also acknowledged that house prices had far outstripped incomes and that this country's housing crisis was a serious "barrier to social mobility".

It will also will also continue to support local authorities to encourage efficient use of our existing stock, making best use of homes that are long-term empty.

Nick Leeming, chairman of estate agents Jackson-Stops and Staff, said: "The Government has thrown in the towel on Britain as a nation of home owners".

"With prices continuing to skyrocket, if we don't act now, a whole generation could be left behind".

Speaking on the BBC's Sunday Politics, Mr Barwell said a package of measures would be in the White Paper due to be published on Tuesday.

Diversifying the market: The government will try to boost the number of houses built by SMEs through its £3bn Home Building Fund.

"The importance of the long-awaited Housing White Paper can not be underestimated".

Planning rules will be amended so that councils can proactively plan for more long term Build to Rent homes and a consultation has been launched to allow developers to offer more affordable homes to rent alongside other forms of affordable housing.

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