CIH head warns sector over housing strategy
The interim chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing has warned that the government’s housing strategy might merely repeat previous announcements.
The government’s housing strategy is now expected to be published next week.
It is expected to contain announcements about ways of bringing forward more public land and a statement about how the government intends to incentivise investment in the private rented sector.
Options for consulting on how the new right to buy scheme, announced by prime minister David Cameron last month, might operate are also expected to be outlined in the strategy document.
Grainia Long, speaking at a briefing today [Tuesday], said: ‘There is a risk that we end up with a strategy that is a series of strong articulations of what’s been announced.’
Ms Long said more detail on the new right to buy, public land use and incentives to invest in the private rented sector are expected in the strategy, but added: ‘What would be new is if this strategy pulls all this together and sets a clear vision on where we want to be.’
Ms Long also called on the government to adopt a ‘firm policy’ on the private rented sector.
She said: ‘This could mean some levers around the role of estate agents and making some of the costs less prohibitive.
‘We are unlikely to see, although we would be thrilled if it were in the strategy, a strong focus on regulation [of the PRS].
Steve Partridge, director of financial policy at the CIH, said there is tension between councils taking control of their finances through housing revenue account reform and government plans to pool receipts through the right to buy, which need to be worked through.
The government has previously said that its plans to release more public land for housing and the right to buy proposals together could provide 200,000 new homes.