Montague recommendations could help kick-start economic growth
The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is encouraging local authorities and investors to look closely at the recommendations in the Montague report, which could help kick-start economic growth and meet burgeoning housing need by filling a significant gap in the housing market.In the news
Daily Telegraph - Relax planning rules to tackle rental shortage, says government advisor
24 Housing - Montague calls for 10 to 20-year rental agreements
Inside Housing - Radical changes needed for private rented sector
"Does Montague live up to expectations? Perhaps that wouldn't possible, yet it does provide a helpful assessment of the current situation and recommends some important – occasionally radical – measures that government could adopt to encourage investors to take the plunge. On that basis it's a welcome contribution to an important debate." Read CIH director of policy and practice, Gavin Smart's blog on the Guardian Housing Network.
CIH press release: Montague recommendations could help kick start economic growth
The report published today, outlines the findings of a review led by Sir Adrian Montague, into how to encourage greater investment in privately rented properties.
CIH supports the report’s recommendation that local authorities should use the flexibilities in the planning system to support the development of private rented homes where that helps to meet local housing need. But it is essential that, as the report suggests, where planning permission for new private rented homes involve developers negotiating a reduced provision of affordable housing there must be clear arrangements to guarantee that homes built remain available for private renting into the longer term.
In addition CIH strongly urges that this revised approach to planning is trialled for a time limited period. Government can then review the results of the approach before any move to adopt it on a permanent basis. Planning gain has been a very important mechanism for providing new affordable homes and should not be easily discarded.
CIH also backs the proposal to pilot the release of public sector land for private rented schemes, a measure which could stimulate of much-needed new development.
Finally, CIH endorses the proposals to explore how a system of voluntary standards can help improve the quality of private rented homes and their management and maintenance. As the professional body for the housing sector we are committed to the highest standards in the housing profession look forward to engaging with the Housing Task Force and other industry bodies.
Gavin Smart, Director of Policy and Practice at CIH, said: “Boosting investment in all types of housing provision is vital - and CIH maintains that housing has a major role to play in economic growth. New measures to release public land and to assist local authorities and developers in terms of planning are an encouraging step forward.”
Allowing reduced planning obligations for private rented schemes is a radical step and not without risks, but we need to consider radical approaches at a time when new house building is at record lows. Families across the country are struggling to find a home they can afford. We need to explore new approaches if we are to deal with this country’s housing crisis.
Sir Adrian is right to insist that relaxation of planning requirements can only happen where it is guaranteed that homes will be available for private rent into the longer term. CIH strongly urges government to consider operating this system for a time limited period in the first instance so that its effectiveness can be assessed.
“We support an industry-led scheme of standards for building quality and housing management, and as the professional body for housing we will be very pleased to work with the sector to explore how such a scheme could be implemented.”