Download TCPA briefing on the housing white paper, fixing our broken housing market 

The Government’s Housing White Paper, Fixing Our Broken Housing Market, was published on 7 February 2017. The TCPA has produced a briefing which provides a summary of the Association’s analysis of the content of the White Paper and focuses on those aspects that are open to consultation and relate to the further proposed reforms of planning for housing (in Chapters 1 and 2). Chapters 3 and 4, on housing policy, are not open for consultation, but they do contain significant proposals for change.

Summary of the TCPA’s analysis

The White Paper is an important first step in reframing the debate on how to solve our housing crisis. It powerfully sets out the scale of the housing crisis and how this impacts on very many people’s wellbeing. The previous Coalition Government’s housing policy focus was on home-ownership and the deregulation of the planning system, when in practice the real problems were a lack of investment in social housing and a ‘broken’ private sector housing delivery model. The White Paper acknowledges the need for a complex range of solutions to a long-term problem.

The TCPA welcomes the White Paper’s more pragmatic and measured approach to housing tenure, as well as the recognition that the planning system needs adequate resources to uphold the public interest. The Government’s commitment to legislate to update the New Towns Act offers real hope for a rapid step-change in housing delivery. The TCPA also welcomes reforms to planning to meet the needs of our ageing society, strengthen the definition of sustainable development, and ensure that we improve community resilience to climate change.

However, the White Paper also signals the further reform of the planning system, including potentially bringing to an end the long-standing policy requirements for Local Plans. In analysing the planning reform measures in the White Paper, the TCPA applies the test as to whether they will lead to the delivery of the well designed and inclusive places that meet the needs of everyone in society.

Download TCPA briefing on the housing white paper, fixing our broken housing market