Housing

Department for Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 5th February 2015.

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Photo of Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what changes to housing policy they have introduced since 2010; and how any such changes have been evaluated.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government)

Since publishing “Laying the Foundations: A Housing Strategy for England”, the Government has implemented a range of policies to get Britain building again, to fix the broken housing market and to help hard-working people get the home they want.

In particular, we have created a streamlined and locally-led planning system and removed unnecessary burdens that were restricting the supply of housing; and built more affordable housing and a new generation of council housing.

We have supported home ownership, restoring confidence in the housebuilding sector and helping more first time buyers to enter the housing market, and created a bigger and better private rented sector, including building more homes to rent. We have also provided infrastructure and development finance; promoted self-build and custom-build; made better use of surplus public sector land; and helped bring empty and redundant land and property back into use.

During this Parliament, a significant number of our housing policies and programmes have been evaluated by the Select Committee, by external bodies and by the DCLG itself.

For instance, in February 2014, DCLG published an evaluation study by Sheffield Hallam University on “Promoting mobility through mutual exchange: Learning lessons from the housing mobility demonstration projects”. This report distilled the key lessons to be learnt from 12 authorities or partnerships of authorities which participated in a mobility demonstration project, allowing social tenants to swap homes. The report was published on the Gov.uk website and a copy was placed in the Library of the House.

As a further example, in December 2014 DCLG published its “Evaluation of the New Homes Bonus” in the first four years of its implementation. This reflected externally-commissioned research by the University of Sheffield and others, plus internal DCLG research (including use of data from the 2013 British Social Attitudes survey). This was announced via a Written Ministerial Statement on 16 December 2014, Official Report, column WS20, and a copy was placed in the Library of the House.

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