Taller buildings and homes near train stations. Eight of the government’s key housing plans

The key points of the housing white paper which will be published today Yui Mok/PA Wire

The key points of the housing white paper which will be published today Yui Mok/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The government unveils its plans for housing today in a white paper - an official government plan. Here are eight ways they are going to try to help with the housing crisis.

More tall buildings

The governments wants councils and developers to 'use land more efficiently' by avoiding building homes at low density and building higher where there is a shortage.


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Build homes near train stations

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The government says it wants to use land and in locations 'well served by public transport such as train stations'.

Make it easier for older people to downsize

A policy to incentivise more good-quality, new-build sheltered accommodation is expected to be included in the paper. Asked about the plan, which could include help with moving costs and changes to stamp duty, housing minister Gavin Barwell said: 'If we can make it easier for elderly people to move into [sheltered] accommodation, it releases family homes that we're desperate [for]. It's a really interesting idea.'

Greenbelt

Councils will be able to alter green belt boundaries after consulting local people. There will be a list of actions that councils will have to take before they approve buildings on the green belt.

National planning policy will create a 'de facto' presumption in favour of housing on suitable brownfield land.

More 'local plans'

Each areas will have to produce a plan of where it wants to build homes every five years. While some villages and towns have produced plans, the government says about 40pc don't yet have blueprints.

Crackdown on developers

The government will make it easier for councils to issue completion notices. Developers will be required to start building within two years, not three, when planning permission is granted.

The government will also try to help small independent builders with a £3bn Home Building Fund. Currently around 60pc of new homes are built by just 10 companies.

Empty homes

Councils will be rewarded for bringing an empty home back into use as building a new one and will be able to impose a council tax premium of up to 50pc (on top of the council tax bill), on properties that have been empty and substantially unfurnished for more than two years.

New regulations for leaseholders

Some buyers are not aware that buying a leasehold house can be more expensive than a freehold house in the long run. Some ground rents can increase significantly over the lease period and be traded with leaseholders left in the dark. A consultation on a range of measures to tackle 'unfair and unreasonable abuses' of leasehold will be launched.

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