Reproduced here without comment is the response from Colliers International – an international real estate advisor – to Theresa May’s white paper on the housing crisis:
Jonathan Manns, head of regeneration and director of planning at Colliers International:
“After months of rumour and speculation the Government has finally published its Housing White Paper. Yet, rather than this climactic moment proving to be the explosive finale to end a national crisis, the Secretary of State has revealed a predictably damp squib. We turned up at the last night of the Proms expecting an evening of vigorous flag-waving, only to find the Albert Hall is empty and has closed due to funding cuts.
“Dig into the (*cough*) detail and, beyond the hollow and misguiding rhetoric, there are the odd tweaks to the status quo. Councils, we’re told, should continue to review the targets in their Local Plans and ensure they’re up-to-date. Hardly ground-breaking but reassuringly familiar. On the plus side, there’s a commitment to standardising the way that housing needs assessments are undertaken and reviewed.
“Regrettably, we see weakness in areas where it really matters. Despite demanding that Local Authorities don’t duck difficult questions, the Government has ruled out any consideration of the way in which we could reform the green belt to secure better outcomes for our built and natural environment. There’s no National Spatial Plan to balance economic growth or tangible indication of exactly how Local Authorities will be resourced to deliver their newfound responsibilities.
“Far from watching HMS Britain launch a buccaneering pre-Brexit assault on housing injustice and inequality, we find ourselves on the deck of RMS Titanic whilst Sajid Javid and his band seek to provide a reassuring distraction. Affluent baby-boomers, who clambered into the lifeboats of home ownership decades ago, drift quietly off.