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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Housing White Paper out on Monday... or Tuesday... or...

Confusion surrounds the timing of the government’s eagerly-anticipated White Paper on housing.

Respected property industry weekly magazine Estates Gazette has tweeted that the White Paper will be released on Monday; a Savills PR also tweeted saying January 16th had been heard.

Samuel Horti, a well-informed reporter from another industry publication, Property Week, said on social media that he, too, had heard the 16th - although a little while later he understood that while the 16th was still possible, there were some strands of the document to be pulled together which might mean it would not be released until January 30.

In addition to all that Labour’s John Healey, the shadow housing minister, told Twitter that: “We were set to get housing white paper with Autumn Statement, then ‘before Christmas’, then ‘in January' ... I now hear it may be delayed again.”

Just for good measure, Inside Housing reporter Nick Johnstone has suggested that the document may see the light of day next Tuesday.

Enquiries yesterday by Estate Agent Today have found out nothing more specific.

Meanwhile, what is it likely to contain, whenever it is released?

We already know of the government's relaunched Garden Villages and Garden Towns initiatives.

Horti, in Property Week, suggests a possible inclusion is fines for developers that do not meet specified build-out rates on sites. He has already reported that the government is also considering ensuring developers pay a contribution - aka, a tax - on the uplift in value of land which secures residential planning consent.

There has also been speculation that the White Paper will also include further incentives for the development of institutional investment in the private rental sector through Build To Rent, while tax breaks for the expansion of modular construction techniques have also been mooted.

Housing minister Gavin Barwell has already indicated there will be measures to improve the volume production of affordable housing - without, as yet, a strict definition as to what ‘affordable housing’ actually is; Barwell’s boss, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, has hinted that there may be additional but so-far-unspecified efforts to ease council planning blockages for developers.

  • Jon  Tarrey

    What a surprise. Government with no clue about housing can't decide which day to release its housing White Paper. Maybe they've been too busy moving the goalposts on affordable housing and subtly massaging the figures to make it seem like they're anywhere close to achieving the ridiculously ambitious target of 1 million new homes by 2020.

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