Paper: Authorities ought to incentivise downsizing to unlock provide

The federal government must incentivise redistribution by encouraging the three.6 million householders aged over 65 with greater than two spare bedrooms to contemplate downsizing, a Whitehall Group Paper has advisable.

Since this may very well be resented by older, income-poor individuals in bigger dwellings, the paper thought-about methods to sugar the capsule, corresponding to providing sensible assist for shifting, waving stamp obligation for downsizers decreasing the dimensions of their property by two bedrooms or extra, and making certain there’s a provide of extra appropriate dwellings for this demographic in all areas.

This was one suggestion made, although broadly the paper mentioned policymakers want to begin prioritising long-term outcomes relatively than election cycles.

Dame Kate Barker, writing the foreword to the Whitehall Group Paper, mentioned: “This paper seeks to look proper throughout the issues in housing and takes a holistic view of options… proposing insurance policies with out worry of vested pursuits.

“The problems of provide and distribution of area will probably be acquainted to all these reflecting on housing issues, including in high quality and the more and more pressing downside of power effectivity provides this paper further chew.

“The overriding proposal is for extra joined-up and coherent housing coverage. This could run wider than simply not altering housing ministers continuously, but in addition have interaction HM Treasury and monetary regulators. Solely then may we obtain the purpose of defining, and shifting in direction of, housing market success.”

On power effectivity, the doc proposed sensible suggestions corresponding to eradicating VAT for energy-saving supplies used to refurbish properties, stress-free listed constructing controls for energy-saving retrofits, and aligning council tax with power efficiency (EPC score).

Concerning the non-public rented sector, the paper mentioned shifting away from archaic phrases corresponding to ‘landlord’ and ‘tenant’ in direction of ‘property proprietor’ and ‘resident’ was one of many solutions, together with incentivising longer leases to allow residents to place down roots and spend money on their communities, encouraging lenders to supply discounted mortgages to property homeowners providing longer tenancies, and tax breaks to these property homeowners.

On social housing the paper concluded that it should be given extra precedence following latest tragic occasions, just like the demise of two yr previous toddler Awaab Ishak. There ought to be a assessment of location of housing affiliation properties to maximise effectivity of upkeep, in addition to the adoption of recent expertise enabling tenants to add images of issues to landlords and inspiring utility suppliers to ship customary customer support and pricing to these on prepayment meters.