Offsite construction expected to feature in Housing White Paper

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid will set out the details of the housing White Paper in a statement to MPs today. The Minister admitted that the current market is “broken” and if we are to fix it we need to consider modern methods of construction such as offsite and modular.

Javid’s speech intends to highlight the need for more homes (at least 250,000 new homes each year) as a matter of priority. Over the weekend Housing Minister Gavin Barwell admitted that the government were currently behind schedule on its goal of building one million new homes in England by 2020.

When unveiling the paper, Javid will say: “Walk down your local high street today and there’s one sight you’re almost certain to see. Young people, faces pressed against the estate agent’s window, trying and failing to find a home they can afford.

“With prices continuing to skyrocket, if we don’t act now, a whole generation could be left behind. We need to do better, and that means tackling the failures at every point in the system.

“The housing market in this country is broken and the solution means building many more houses in the places that people want to live.”

In an interview with BBC Radio 4, the Communities Secretary also indicated the need for a shift in focus on increasing home ownership, an ambition of most post-war Conservative governments. He said “It is a false choice. The reality is we need more homes, whether to rent or buy.”

The White Paper is expected to contain the following measures for meeting demand:

  • A £3bn fund will allow housing associations and councils to fully utilise the skills and facilities of smaller building firms, including support for modern methods of construction, such as modular and offsite
  • Councils will be required to provide the government with an up-to-date plan for housing demand
  • The delivery time for housing will reduced from three to two years between planning permission being submitted and construction works beginning
  • Green Belt is expected to be protected, only to be built on in exceptional circumstances
More on this following the release of the paper later today.

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