The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has welcomed today’s Government White Paper on housing.
The Government has vowed to build more affordable housing after admitting that the current market is “broken”. It says at least 250,000 new homes are needed each year, just to keep pace with demand.
Responding to the announcement, LEP chief executive, Sandra Rothwell, said: “We have low wages and high housing costs in our area and a pressing need for more affordable and market homes to buy and rent. The LEP is committed to accelerating housing delivery in the right places and that is at the heart of the White Paper.
“There are proposals to encourage housing associations and local authorities to build more affordable homes and measures to help developers, especially small builders. That is welcome because 60% of new homes in the UK are built by just ten companies and we have many small contractors renowned for their quality and innovation in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
“We particularly welcome Government moves to promote more modular and factory built homes, which follows news this week that Cornish company CIS is to build a new factory at the Aerohub Business Park aimed at producing modular homes for the affordable housing market.”
A leading south west commercial property lawyer, however, doesn’t believe the content in the White Paper goes far enough.
Keith Wright partner and head of social housing at Stephens Scown LLP, said: “There are people in the south west who desperately want to find a long-term home, but have simply been unable to afford it.
“We live in an area of lower wages so any announcements which will help more people buy their homes must be welcomed. However, the Government has been promising for a number of years that it will increase housing supply by bringing in new funding and new grants for the provision of housing and primarily affordable housing.
“Its failure in recent years has been mainly because of the lack of joined up thinking between the providers of affordable housing and the government. While there is some news to be welcomed in this white paper, ultimately the Government needs to do more to support long-term renting, affordable and secure rents.”