• Issue 38

  • Jul 2018

The Source

New H&C Secretary Sets Out Housing Priorities

The government has announced plans to release £450m to speed up delivery of homes on public-sector land, whilst also encouraging the pace of delivering, and reconfirming the commitment to build 300,000 new homes a year.

Housing and Communities Secretary, James Brokenshire, speaking at the Policy Exchange on 2nd July, announced these measures along with new proposals for three-year minimum tenancy term and the launch of a new £100m Community Housing Fund, to deliver affordable housing aimed specifically at meeting local needs. Beyond this, the Secretary of State’s speech hinted at wider investment and research into modern methods of construction, aimed at speeding up the construction process.

On the long-standing issue and debate around leasehold, Brokenshire said: “We have seen leaseholders in new-build homes facing unexpected costs rising every year that bear no relation to services and that’s not fair.

“So from now on any new government funding scheme will contain the condition that the money cannot support the unjustified use of leasehold for new homes”.

 Leasehold generally applies to flats with shared spaces, making multiple ownership more straightforward, but with some arguing that developers are increasingly selling houses on these terms, the Secretary of State took the opportunity to address growing concerns.

The government is already occupied with ways to reduce the cost and complexity for existing leaseholders to buy-out their freehold and appears committed to improving the level of information available about redress for those consumers who face the most prescriptive terms.