Housing white paper is a recent government statement that outlines new policies for improving housing in the UK. The white paper has plans and purpose for ensuring that citizens of the UK find affordable housing. The housing crisis has been plaguing the UK for some time now. The government has taken all the blames for housing problems. This is despite the state establishing housing schemes to help people from all economic backgrounds to secure housing. The white paper is meant to address the current issues affecting housing including lack of accommodation, poor living conditions as well as the effects of building construction on the environment. Its target is residential rather than commercial housing.
Housing problem in London has necessitated more drastic actions towards ensuring that houses are built faster. A third of houses that were granted building permissions between 2010/11 and 2015/16 are yet to be built. The housing white paper requires builders to implement planning permissions quickly. Housebuilders must now start home construction within two years, rather than three years, of being granted building permits. Those housebuilders who delay planning permissions usually argue that building on site is not practical. They are now given a choice of building houses off-site and transferring the newly built homes to their relevant locations.
Of the courses in delay of building residential houses are the housebuilders who are so strict on their business plans that they cannot boost their productivity or risk their business models by recruiting some homeowners representative into their operations. The white paper has 3 billion Home Building Fund to encourage smaller builders, who are more receptive of homeowners, to participate more actively in home construction. The government has also created incentives that encourage custom build and self-build homes. These incentives are expected to increase housing market by a significant percentage.
One of the limitations of home construction is a lack of land on which to construct homes. A good number of lands in the UK belong to individuals and are therefore not available to first time home owners. Land cost money to buy and are necessary components of home construction. Those who do not have lands to build homes will be rendered homeless even if they have the money to construct self-build houses. The white paper has policies that increase access to land and promoting Right to Build from the National Custom and Self Build Association. Anyone wanting to build a home can now easily find a local authority register and access land for building homes.
The issues of access to land are controversial since most of the land that is allocated by the white paper is that one which is considered a national heritage. These properties include woodlands and the Green Belt and are the pride of the country. These land could be used for home construction at the expense of losing their natural beauty. Even with the pressure of delivering more housing, the government has been slow to give out the woodlands for home construction. Various government agencies have come up to oppose government bid to use woodlands for home construction. There is hope that the state will meet the housing needs of its citizens and prevent encroachment into the forests.