Theresa May’s Government is due to announce a major shift in housing policy by placing greater emphasis on renters with plans to deliver more affordable rental properties.
Gavin Barwell, the housing minister, said the Government intended to encourage more housebuilding of all kinds, including more social housing. But he insisted the plans, due to be published in a white paper this week, would not propose any changes to the rules of building on the green belt.
He acknowledged the proposals would represent a “change in tone” from previous Conservative policy and Margaret Thatcher’s “home-owning democracy” advanced by David Cameron.
It will include proposals to amend planning rules to enable councils to plan for more build-to-rent-properties as well as measures to ensure more secure, longer term tenancies are available in the private rented sector.
Speaking on ITV’s Peston on Sunday programme, he added: “We are not going to weaken the protections. We have a clear manifesto commitment. There is no need to take huge tracts of land out of the green belt to solve the housing crisis.”
“They [councils] can take land out of the green belt in exceptional circumstances but they should have looked at every alternative first. That policy is not going change.”
The white paper will outline steps to ensure longer-term tenancies are available in private rented schemes to give renting families more stability.