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Government urged to implement housing white paper

The Conservative party should stick to proposals put forward in February’s housing white paper, despite having to lead a minority government after the general election, according to Mullucks Wells.

The estate agency, which has offices in East Hertfordshire and West Essex, is calling on the government to press ahead with implementing the housing white paper, which includes plans to free up more land for new homes, encourage more modern construction methods, and increase the diversity of housebuilders developing homes across Britain.

The estate agency also believes that the government’s target of building a million homes by 2020 plus another 500,000 by the end of 2022 should stand.

William Wells, residential director at Mullucks Wells, said: “The Conservative manifesto promised to ‘fix’ the dysfunctional housing market so there are affordable and secure houses for all. This means building enough new homes to meet demand, in turn lowering housing costs so ordinary, working families can afford to purchase a home, and at the same time reducing rental costs.

“The party has promised that these new homes will be high-quality and will not encroach on the Green Belt, National Parks or other protected areas. There’s also every indication that Right to Buy will continue, and there is nothing in the manifesto to suggest that flagship schemes such as Shared Ownership, Help to Buy, Starter Homes or the Lifetime ISA will be scrapped.

“Similarly, housing associations were to be given greater flexibility to increase their housing stock, and Build to Rent was to be given further backing.”

Wells insists that it is important that the uncertainty caused by a hung parliament should not put these plans into doubt.

He added: “The focus of the white paper was on building sustainable, affordable and quality houses, to help reverse generations of insufficient construction. The paper also made it clear that the planning and house building processes need to be simplified if the country wants to increase its annual production of homes.

“For the prosperity of the market and the good of the country, it’s crucial that these aspects continue as planned.”

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