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Government should promote "later homes" as well as starter homes...

Week in Westminster

Published: 17 June 2016 | Author: Michelle Vosper

The all-party parliamentary group on housing and care for older people has called on government to promote new house building for older people. Its report, Housing our ageing population: positive ideas, suggests that as well as starter homes, the UK needs “later homes”, not least because those who right-size free up family homes for the next generation. The Group recommends stamp duty exemptions for those over pension  age who right size; advocates an extension of help to buy for those buying new property in older age; calls for the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure its policies for capping housing benefit do not deter investment in extra care and specialist housing for older people; and urges local authorities to ensure their local plans recognise the changing demographic of their areas and prioritise house building for this age group.

Housing affordability in London was the subject of a debate introduced by Labour MP Ruth Cadbury, which she said was creating recruitment problems in key professions such as social work and teaching, and has created difficulties for the private sector. Ms Cadbury argued that the government’s starter homes would be unaffordable for most working Londoners and would cut the delivery of other new housing. Responding to the debate CLG minister Marcus Jones said the issue was a top priority for government and acknowledged that the demand for affordable housing in London “is without doubt challenging”. Mr Jones then outlined the three areas government is focusing on, namely streamlining the planning system, helping Londoners into home ownership and ensuring that housing stock is managed fairly and effectively.

The Commons environment, food and rural affairs committee heard from the insurance industry on the affordability and availability of insurance for customers in flood risk areas and the impact of the government-backed Flood Re reinsurance scheme.

The right to buy should be extended to tenants of private landlords in order to reverse declining levels of home ownership, according to a new Civitas report. Restoring a National of Home Owners: what went wrong with home ownership in Britain, and how to start putting it right, also proposes measures to restrain demand including the Bank of England imposing a ratio of average house prices to average earnings and abolishing all government demand-side subsidies.