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Raising the profile of housing in the British Isles. Gavin Smart, Deputy Chief Executive. Overall context. Recovery - A long haul. Source: NIESR. Unequal recovery?. A nation of borrowers. Growth of market renting. House prices. Housing Affordability. Government housing investment.

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raising the profile of housing in the british isles

Raising the profile of housing in the British Isles

Gavin Smart, Deputy Chief Executive

  • New Housing Act 2014
  • Abolition of RTB - two year ‘notice period’ for existing eligible tenants - RTB ends 2016
  • Bedroom tax – transfer of DHP with a view to “full mitigation”
  • Continuation of social rent
  • Housing, health and social care integration
  • All unintentional homeless entitled to secure accommodation – homelessness applications down 40%
  • What happens post-referendum?
northern ireland
Northern Ireland
  • Continuing debate around future/reform of NI Housing Exec
  • Possible introduction of planning gain for affordable housing
  • Northern Ireland RTB equivalent scheme in Housing Executive or HA tenants max discount £24,000
  • Reductions in investment in affordable housing
  • Political appreciation of role of affordable housing
  • Major institutional reform – move to “super councils”
  • First Housing (Wales) Act next month
    • National PRS licensing scheme
    • New stat. duty to provide homeless prevention service for all
  • “Welsh solutions for Welsh problems”
    • Welsh housing bond
    • 10k Affordable homes target
    • Focus on developing cooperative housing
    • Renting homes act for whole-scale tenancy reform
    • Collaboration and coproduction - One-housing system under welsh government ‘system stewardship’
    • Housing led regeneration
    • HRAs end March 2015
  • RTB max discount £16k suspension allowed in areas of housing pressure for up to five years
  • 65% cut in Affordable Housing Programme & affordable rent
  • Increasing use of guarantees and financial instruments
    • £1bn to kick start institutionally funded market rent development
    • Also affordable housing guarantee
  • Welfare Reform – without mitigation
  • Localism
  • Strong focus on supply
  • Preference for incentives
  • Concentration on home ownership
  • Help to Buy – 1 and 2
  • New regulatory framework
  • HRA reform - £300m extra, but caps in place
uk wide
UK wide
  • Austerity – further cuts to come? £12bn more from welfare?
  • Welfare Reform – with some local variation
  • Social Security total spend
  • Financial Regulation e.g. Mortgage Market Review & Bank regulation
  • Interest rates
  • Devolution of housing policy is increasingly marked
  • Something of an England vs Devolved Nations flavour?
    • English housing policy very market driven with preference for “small state” approaches where possible
    • NI closest to English approach?
  • Devolved nations are not homogenous, but sense of similarity of approach/philosophy
  • Critical related policy and economic levers remain non-devolved
westminster election some thoughts
Westminster election – some thoughts
  • Post-devolution Westminster relationship to housing beyond England indirect & harder to understand
  • But it can set the context
  • England can still export ideas elsewhere e.g. Welsh experiments with something like affordable rent
  • Currently less traffic the other way
  • Housing will be a key topic
  • Some English housing policy decisions will have Barnet consequences
  • Westminster still controls welfare, economics and tax & spend envelope
what happens after may 2015
What happens after May 2015?
  • Differentiation continues
  • Continued “marketisation” in England?
  • Revival of social housing in England if Labour win?
  • Austerity remains
  • Wales & Scotland continue direction of travel
    • Does referendum adjust pace in Scotland? Or direction of travel too?
  • NI – big decisions still up for grabs
some headline asks from cih
Some headline asks from CIH
  • Increasing supply is critical
  • Great variety of products at more price points needed
    • Clear role for LCHO & social rent
  • Capital investment by government works
  • LAs can do more – borrowing caps raised or abolished
  • Standards are as important as numbers
    • Lifetime homes, wheelchair standard
  • We need new entrants to the market
  • Regeneration & neighbourhoods need more attention
  • PRS is critically important – policies needed to incentivise standards & reward performance
  • Bedroom Tax needs to go
  • Greater focus on older people & specialised housing more generally
how do we make the case for housing
How do we make the case for housing?
  • Clear, high level asks & easy to understand messages
  • Work together – concentrate on what we agree about
    • Homes for Britain
  • Demonstrate the problem and the consequences
  • Show what housing achieves
    • Outcomes matter
    • Housing supports other policy goals e.g. economic growth, health, education etc.
    • Good evidence is critical
  • Make the case yourself! Be a local advocate for housing
  • Engage with voters & with politicians
  • There is work to do in every part of the UK
  • Our national housing systems are related and still do not work well
  • Policy is increasingly differentiated
    • But we still speak broadly the same policy language
  • The public do care about housing – but they worry about it too…
  • Westminster election is important for housing
  • We can do more to make the case
  • And there is everything to play for!
thank you
Thank you


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