I spent last week touring the country to get feedback from housing professionals about the White Paper we published on 7th February, setting out our plans to build the homes this country desperately needs. Whilst there were lots of suggestions of how we should tweak the proposals or other ideas we could include, overall the response was very positive.
Below are a series of quotes from various organisations about the White Paper - the Royal Town Planning Institute; the Chartered Institute for Housing, the professional body for those working in the housing profession; the National Housing Federation, the representative body for housing associations; the Council for the Protection of Rural England; Shelter; the Local Government Association, the representative body of local councils; Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London; the Home Builders Federation, the voice of the home building industry; and the Labour Party.
As a bit of light-hearted Monday morning fun in advance of Communities & Local Government Questions in the House of Commons this afternoon, can you spot which one is from Labour's housing spokesman, John Healey?
"It’s good to see the Government paying much needed attention to the country’s appalling housing crisis in its new White Paper and the shift in focus from homeowners to the millions of struggling renters is right".
"We welcome the White Paper’s promise to address failings of the housing market, rather than just meddle with the planning system…The Government has made a good start in this White Paper and Ministers should be congratulated for listening. It is vital that we build more homes, but it is also essential to do so in ways that have popular support. The focus on brownfield development and other measures in the White Paper will help with that agenda".
"Together [the White Paper proposals] represent a positive step in the right direction and go some way to delivering a comprehensive and strategic framework to fix the housing crisis".
"Yesterday’s Housing White Paper points us in a better direction…Although the proposals set out...could undoubtedly have gone further, they show some promising signs for Londoners".
"We welcome many of the measures contained in the Housing and Planning White Paper - many of which we have long campaigned for".
"[The proposals are] feeble beyond belief".
"Measures in the White Paper to ensure local authorities abide by responsibilities to bring greater volumes of land for development forward more quickly and to assist SME builders could tackle some of the biggest barriers to further increasing housing supply".
"This White Paper includes some encouraging signs that government is listening to councils on how to boost housing supply and increase affordability".
"The package of measures announced today represents an important shift in housing policy which demonstrates a commitment to tackle our housing crisis".