A “giant leap” is needed to tackle the housing crisis, according to Communities and Local Government (CLG) Secretary Sajid Javid MP.
However, the RLA has warned the communities secretary that words are not enough – what landlords and tenants need is action to boost the supply of homes.
In a speech on the housing market today Sajid Javid said the country is at risk of creating a ‘rootless generation’ who will be left struggling when they reach retirement with no home of their own.
However, with 15 consultations currently underway within the PRS and landlords being hammered by tax changes, the RLA says what is actually needed is positive moves on the ground to provide the homes the country so desperately needs.
Javid said: “Without affordable, secure, safe housing we risk creating a rootless generation, drifting from one short-term tenancy to the next, never staying long enough to play a real role in their community.
“We risk creating a generation who, in maybe 40 or 50 years, reaches retirement with no property to call their own, and pension pots that have not been filled because so much of their income has gone on rent.
In the speech he said he wants the Homes and Communities Agency to be “less cautious, to be more aggressive, and to be more muscular”.
He said he wants housing associations to concentrate on developing innovative ways of building more homes. He also promised that those local authorities struggling most to balance supply and demand can expect support and financial help.
However, David Smith, Policy Director for the Residential Landlords Association, said more must be done to boost the supply of homes – and consultation exercises are not enough.
He said: “The Minister is right that we need a giant leap to tackle the housing crisis we now face. This is particularly the case for tenants and prospective tenants who increasingly need a vibrant and growing private rental market for a place to live.
“The Government currently has at least 15 consultations currently ongoing affecting the private rented sector, none of which will boost the supply of such of homes. Whilst it is right to properly consult on proposals, no tenant can live in a consultation.
“We need immediate action to meet growing demand for private rented housing in next week’s budget by bringing small plots of unused land into use and creating a pro-growth tax system that supports good landlords to develop the new homes we need.”
Ahead on the Budget on Wednesday, you can read the RLA’s Budget submission in full on our website.