Government consults on planning proposals in favour of "Generation Buy"
Week in Westminster
Published: 11 December 2015 | Author: Michelle Vosper
The prime minister gave a keynote speech this week giving an update on his party’s progress on their manifesto pledges. On housing, Mr Cameron reiterated the government’s move toward “Generation Buy” and announced the publication of proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework to ensure new housing developments contain affordable housing to buy rather than rent. He also referred to Help to Buy Shared Ownership and the changes to the eligibility criteria for this housing model.
During the Housing and Planning Bill’s final committee sessions, the government succeeded in adding two new clauses (32 and 33) which will phase out lifetime tenancies for council tenants and replace them with fixed term tenancies of between two to five years for new tenants. The opposition introduced a range of probing amendments which were subsequently withdrawn. One of which was an amendment to include a duty to the Bill to promote lending to small and medium-sized house builders. The Bill will move on to its report stage on 5 January 2016.
Standing in for the David Cameron at prime minister’s questions, George Osborne announced an additional £51 million of funding to be administered by local authorities to support households and business affected by the floods in Cumbria and Lancashire. This takes the total support pledged by the government to over £60 million.
The Lords Economic Affairs committee took evidence from Generation Rent, Shelter and Priced Out, and then from Dr Peter Williams and Professor Steve Wilcox as part of its inquiry into the economics of the housing market.
Staying on the subject of Help to Buy, Wales Community minister Lesley Griffiths has announced additional funding of up to £290 million to extend Help to Buy Wales to 2021.
The Welsh minister has also announced this week that a new expert group will be set up to advice the Welsh government on its strategy for housing an ageing population. The main aim for the group is to advise on practical steps which can be taken to widen housing options for older people.
The European Commission has published its green paper on retail financial services. The paper seeks views on how to improve choice, transparency and competition in the financial services sector to the benefit on European consumers, and how to facilitate cross-border supply. The Commission is also looking at the impact of digitalisation on retail financial services with a view to allowing for growth of innovative solutions in this area in the EU.