Land prices should be reduced to build affordable housing, says Shelter


Housing charity Shelter is calling on the government to reduce land prices to help with the construction of more affordable homes

A lack of affordable housing remains a key social issue in the UK and reducing land prices could help construct more properties. This was one of the recommendations set out by housing charity Shelter when laying out what they believe should be in the government’s forthcoming Housing White Paper.

In their briefing, the charity said reducing the cost of land would enable more property to be built. It set out three key reforms that would ensure land prices could be reduced.

Three key reforms

The first was a new generation of Development Corporations with the power to buy land at cheaper prices. These corporations would then give the land to firms that wish to “build the high volumes of good quality and affordable homes that we need.”

The second reform calls for the government to step in to make sure public land is used differently. This would see land go to firms that prove better returns in the long run, rather than simply selling the land to the highest bidder.

The final reform suggests tax penalties should be levied at developers who, despite having planning permission, are not building.

Land prices must be reduced

Interim chief executive Graeme Brown said: “Our current system of housebuilding simply cannot deliver the homes we need. People are paying the price with expensive and unstable renting, as any dreams of home ownership slip away.

“With the forthcoming housing white paper, the government has a chance to end this crisis by committing to new reforms which can deliver the genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy this country urgently needs.

“The government must not shy away from making major reforms. The hopes and needs of millions of ordinary families on low and middle incomes depend on this moment being seized.”

The Housing White Paper is expected to be published this month.


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