Committee chair comments on Joseph Rowntree Foundation Report

13 June 2012

Clive Betts comments on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Report warning of housing crisis for over a million young people by 2020

Welcoming a report produced by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation looking at housing options and solutions for Young People in 2020, Clive Betts, Chair of Communities and Local Government Committee said today:

"This excellent report echoes many points made by the CLG Committee in a report on the Financing of New Housing supply that we published on 7 May.

Like JRF, we drew attention to the chronic housing shortage. Young people clearly feel the effects of the housing crisis so we proposed a number of solutions for raising sufficient finance to see significant improvements in housing supply in England over the long term, including action to deliver more social and private rented homes.

In particular, we highlighted the potential for substantially more investment by large institutions and pension funds, but like JRF we acknowledged that the private rented sector will continue to be dominated by smaller landlords. We therefore called on the government to bring forward proposals to simplify the tax regime in ways that will encourage such landlords to invest far more readily to build new homes.

We also questioned the Government's flagship Affordable Rent model, expressing concerns that it could prove unaffordable in parts of London and may well prove unsustainable beyond 2015. We saw untapped potential in the historic grant on housing association balance sheets, and called for clarity on how it could be used to best effect. We also urged Government to ease centrally imposed constraints upon local authorities, such as on borrowing, to enable them to deliver more homes.

Taken together these measures, along with others we propose, could boost supply, helping to meet the housing needs of young people in the years ahead."

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