Housing White Paper – 3/17

Issued as a Consultation White Paper in February 2017.

This White Paper recognises the need for a shift in policy to encourage and possibly legislate for an increase in house-building through a ‘Build to Rent’ (BTR) Programme. This programme of BTR further specifies that a proportion of these homes be available at an Affordable Private Rent (APR), as part of an affordable housing programme.

The policies being consulted on are changes to planning policy to promote the uptake of BTR by:

- Encouraging Local Authorities to plan proactively for BTR

- Facilitating APR as a form of affordable housing on BTR schemes in place of other types of affordable housing, together with the offer of longer, family friendly tenancies.’

Affordable Private Rent is where BTR schemes offer a proportion of homes available at a ‘Discounted Market Rent’, an emerging planning practice by some London boroughs. This would increase the supply of APR homes but still through a given level of discount allow developers to factor the cost into their calculations. The Government’s proposed terms for the provision of APR are a minimum of 20% of the homes at a minimum of 20% discount, provided in perpetuity.’

It is considered that, ‘a big advantage of APR is that by combining all of the market and discounted units into a single development under common control, without the separate involvement of a social landlord, efficiencies can be realised to improve financial viability.’ Further, ‘by pepper-potting the indistinguishable discounted homes throughout the scheme, there may also be a broader social benefit of creating a mixed and well integrated community within the development.

In its ‘summary impact’ the White Paper proposes that the effects of ‘the policies are expected to be an increase in the number of Build to Rent homes and an increase in the number of homes built for APR. It says that while it is difficult to give precise estimates of the numbers at this stage, in advance of receiving responses to this consultation, the British Property Federation estimates that around £15bn of capital has already entered this market. This has resulted in around 68,000 BTR homes across the UK and it estimates that approximately £50bn of further investment could enter in future.’

C4H welcomes this initiative as an extra tool in the planners’ toolbox to secure affordable housing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Housing White Paper Link – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fixing-our-broken-housing-market