We are determined to build a stronger, fairer Britain where people who work hard are able to get on in life. That means breaking down barriers to progress that stand in people’s way.
Our broken housing market is one of the greatest barriers in Britain today. It doesn’t matter if you buy or rent, housing is increasingly unaffordable for people who work hard but are struggling to get by.
The average house now costs almost eight times more than average earnings. More than 2.2 million working households with below-average incomes spend a third or more of their disposable income on housing and millions more are unable to get together the sums needed for a deposit. And because of that in the last 17 years the proportion of people living in the expensive private rented sector has doubled.
Our plan to fix this broken housing markets starts by building more houses, of the type that people want to live in, in the places they want to live. And that means taking four steps.
Firstly, we need more land for homes where people want to live. All areas need a plan to deal with the housing pressures they face and communities need a say in the homes that are built. So we will require all areas to have up-to-date plans in place and ensure that communities are comfortable with how new homes look. We are clear that the Green Belt must be protected in all but exceptional circumstances - and that there are other areas that local authorities must pursue first.
Secondly, we need to make sure that homes are built quickly once planning permissions are granted. So we will give councils and developers the tools they need to build more swiftly. We will invest in making the planning system more open and accessible, improve the co-ordination of public investment in infrastructure, support timely connections to utilities, and tackle unnecessary delays.
Thirdly, we will diversify the housing market and open it up to smaller builders and those who embrace innovative and efficient methods. We will encourage housing associations and local authorities to build more, and we will work to attract new investors into residential development including homes for rent.
And finally, because we know that building these homes will take time, we will also take action to help people now. That means improving safeguards for people in the private rented sector, doing more to prevent homelessness and helping households currently priced out of the market.
By building the homes that we need and giving those renting a fairer deal, we will ensure that those who grow up in Britain today receive the same opportunities as their parents and grandparents. And by working through our Plan for Britain, we will begin to break down the barriers to progress that stand in the way of millions of working families.