House prices to rise by a third – why planning reforms must deliver more affordable housing

Today the Chancellor announced some pretty major planning reforms. The acknowledgement that we’re simply not building enough homes, and the stated aim of getting Britain building again, are both welcome – and things we’ve long been calling for.

The package of reforms offers a genuine opportunity to really start to address the housing crisis. But it remains to be seen how affordable these homes will be. Worryingly, some of the reforms could actually reduce the number of affordable homes … Read more

Osborne’s planning revolution

“Britain has been incapable of building enough homes”.

We often criticise the politicians of all parties on this blog, but on this point we strongly agree with George Osborne. But will he have the measures necessary to tackle this chronic problem? The Chancellor has announced some striking planning reforms to get more homes built:

A “zonal” approach to brownfield land, with the assumption of planning permission. A tougher approach to councils who drag their feet agreeing a Local Plan. Osborne… Read more
A tax on both your (privately rented) houses

Wednesday’s budget furrowed many a brow at Shelter. The Chancellor singled out housing support for substantial cuts. A lot of the people who come to Shelter for help are about to find themselves worse off – and our job just got tougher.

However, amidst this frustration there were some sensible tax reforms that deserve an honourable mention.

1. Raise the Roof

The Budget raised the tax-free threshold for the rent-a-room scheme.

This scheme was introduced in 1992 to offer … Read more