DESPERATELY SEEKING A SOLUTION: AWAITING THE HOUSING WHITE PAPER

Sam Silcocks on the eagerly awaited Housing White Paper
There has been much speculation – and some disappointment – surrounding the forthcoming Housing White Paper that Communities Secretary Sajid Javid committed to reveal following last year’s Autumn Statement.
The speculation surrounds the ‘radical’ plans to boost housing provision that Javid assured MPs that this document would set out; while the frustration surrounds the fact that it has not materialized this month as promised.
Frustrating as it might be to have to wait to study its contents, the task ahead is a vast one. Chancellor Philip Hammond has already pledged a £1.4bn provision to help address the UK’s housing shortage, and it is hoped that the White Paper will offer insight and guidance into how best to invest that allocation.
According to the Office for National Statistics, 25 per cent of 20-34-year-olds are still living with their parents, and with many of them keen to get that all-important first foot on the property ladder, anticipation for the paper couldn’t be higher.
A crackdown on the planning process to speed up applications, building partnerships between developers and recognising the different challenges faced by different marketplaces are all crucial factors in successfully tackling the housing crisis and in implementing a satisfactory solution, while affordability and lack of supply in London should be viewed as an entirely separate entity to the challenges and targets that combined authorities should be committed to fulfilling.
 The content of the paper is clearly something that requires careful thought and strategy if it is to do its job, and we await the final document with interest.