by Mark Johnston
Many experts have for sometime predicted further falls in home ownership and even higher rents and reports have shown that there are more than 1.5 million people on waiting lists for social housing in England alone.
Chambell Robb, chief executive of housing charity Shelter has stated that “millions of people across the country remain desperate for an affordable place to live”.
The National Housing federation (NHF) campaigns director, Ruth Davison suggested that “what we need to do is to build new homes and the government has not properly understood that we are in the grip of a housing crisis and unless they do something about it an entire generation will be locked out of decent housing”.
Many developers have said that they are willing and ready to build more homes, however they are worried that they will not be able to sell them as potential buyers are unable at present to raise the finance required to obtain a mortgage.
Experts believe that with major developers holding planning permission for at least 188,000 new homes, the government must urgently look at ways to get construction going once again.
The National Housing Federation (NHF) therefore has called for action on the housing ‘crisis’ as with out government action the housing market will have a chronic under supply of homes.
The Prime Minister David Cameron has recently stated that the ‘dream of home ownership’ should be available to everyone. He has therefore unveiled a £400 million housing initiative which will ‘restart the housing market’ and get the ‘nation building’ again.
The plan is a drive to target house building schemes that have stalled due to lack of development finance. It will ‘unlock’ the construction of around 16,000 homes, of which 3,200 would be affordable properties. This incentive will also support up to 32,000 jobs.
Also incorporated within this plan are better discounts for council tenants wishing to buy their home, these discounts will rise from £26,000 to £52,000. It will also help 100,000 first time buyers get a reasonable mortgage.
The residential landlords association has welcomed this announcement saying it would keep rents for tenants down.
However Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor suggest that “it is rather ‘small beer’ in its scale, it is a £400 million boost when George Osborne last year announced a £4 billion cut in housing spending”.
Labour leader Ed Miliband echoed this comment by stating that the measures were “too little, too late”.
The housing minister Grant Shapps hit back at these comments by stating that the £400 million fund was only one of more than a hundred measures in the housing package being announced.
Both David Cameron and Nick Clegg said “one of the most important things each generation can do for the next is to build high quality homes that will stand the test of time”.
“We have seen so many fly-by-night home buying schemes in the past and their impact has almost been negligible. Ultimately, only the market can make the market better” added Tracy Kellett, managing director of buying agents
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