There are 12 bold national missions to be achieved by 2030 which will be given status in law in a flagship Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill. The White Paper represents a long-term plan to transform the UK.
Private Rented Sector
The UK Government will announce a plan, that for the first time ever, all homes in the private rented sector (PRS) will have to meet a minimum standard – the Decent Homes Standard.
Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions will be abolished. Propertymark believes the only workable alternative is to strengthen all grounds for possession and make them all mandatory – this is in keeping with the spirit of the UK Government’s intentions as tenant’s won’t be evicted unless they have been provided with good reason to do so.
A consultation will take place on introducing a landlords’ register and will set out plans for a crackdown on rogue landlords to make sure fines and bans stop repeat offenders from leaving renters in terrible conditions. However, what is key for ‘levelling up’ the PRS is ensuring local authorities have the staff and resources needed to actively go out, inspect properties and prosecute.
Supply of houses
The ‘80/20 rule’ which leads to 80 per cent of government funding for housing supply being directed at ‘maximum affordability areas’ – in practice, London and the South East – will be scrapped. Much of the £1.8 billion brownfield funding will be diverted to transforming brownfield sites in the North and Midlands. The Metro Mayors will be allocated £120 million of this funding.
Further commitment to building more genuinely affordable social housing is also included and a new Social Housing Regulation Bill will deliver upon the commitments the UK Government made following the Grenfell tragedy in 2017. Propertymark believes the long-term solution to address the lack of affordability in the PRS is to ensure that more social housing is built to reduce housing needs.
Owning a home
A new £1.5 billion Levelling Up Home Building Fund is being launched to boost homeownership, which will provide loans to SMEs and support the UK Government’s wider regeneration agenda in areas that are a priority for levelling up.