I just hope Garvin Barwell stays around long enough to actually make this policy work and see it lead to some meaningful outcomes. Of late, the only ministers who seem to stay in post, are those with disruption and chaos in mind, with Eric Pickles and John Prescott causing the most of both in recent history.
This is especially obvious when it comes to the recent housing and planning policy chaos that has engulfed local government and continues to do so, as we wait the announcement of yet another set of changes.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
Starter Homes was always an Alex Morton gimmick to reprioritise home ownerership over affordable rent given low completions. With that gone the policy has no political purpose.
The new housing minister Gavin Barwell has used his first major speech to shift Government policy away from a singular focus on home ownership.
Speaking at the RESI conference, he said: “We need to build more homes of every single type and not focus on one single tenure.”
He also indicated that the Government is considering abandoning its pledge to build 200,000 starter homes by 2020 due to a shift towards supporting the rental sector.
The Government campaigned on a policy of building houses which would be sold to first-time buyers at a discount of 20pc. However, Mr Barwell said that such policies which encourage ownership and increase the level of demand could affect the number of homes built for rent.
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