CLG given timetable for housing reform
The government has published a business plan for the Communities and Local Government department, setting out how it will meet housing aspirations.
The document sets out the key aims for the department, along with a range of actions, and ‘impact indicators’ used to judge progress.
The housing aspiration aim includes actions such as publishing a policy paper on the reform of social housing, introducing the Localism Bill, consulting on the New Homes Bonus house building incentive scheme, and consulting on measures to bring empty homes back into use – all of which are due this month.
In January next year we can expect details of the ‘affordable rent’ scheme outlined in the comprehensive spending review, which is likely to raise social rents to 80 per cent of market levels and introduce fixed-term tenancies.
The business plan states this will ‘contribute towards up to 150,000 new affordable homes for the spending review period’.
There are also more details of the timings for a range of other government initiatives, including the reform of the housing revenue account. A summary of responses to the consultation on this was due to have been published in July, but is overdue. The department intends to consult on final HRA reform settlements in November next year, with the amounts finalised in January 2012.
To judge progress against all its aims the department will publish ‘input indicators’ and ‘impact indicators’. The input indicators include the amount of affordable housing grant per dwelling, while impact indicators are mainly figures that are already published, such as the number of affordable housing starts and completions delivered through the Homes and Communities Agency.