Prime Minister 'to signal housing push in next week's Budget'

Reports that Prime Minister Theresa May will today 'signal that tackling the housing crisis will be a key theme of next week's Budget' feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Guardian reports that, visiting a housing development today, May will "repeat the pledge she made in her ill-fated Conservative conference speech in September to make housebuilding part of her ‘personal mission’". The newspaper quotes the Prime Minister saying: "Today I am seeing the work now underway to [address the housing crisis] and, in coming weeks and months, my government will be going further to ensure that we build more homes, more quickly. This will be a long journey and it will take time for us to fix the broken housing market, but I am determined to build a Britain fit for the future."

The Telegraph reports that, speaking yesterday, Chancellor Philip Hammond said that there is "no silver bullet" that "solves the challenge of affordability in the housing market - we are a crowded island and this is a very complex challenge". But Hammond added: "we have done a lot of work on this and next week we will start to set out our plan for addressing the housing challenges in this country, making sure that the next generation has the same opportunities as their parents did for home ownership and the accumulation of personal wealth through assets."

Writing in the Financial Times (subscription required), Nathan Brooker, the property editor of the paper’s House & Home section, says that, to tackle the housing crisis, "we need to seriously consider reforming the planning system, abolishing the green belts, introducing taxes to deter speculation, and limiting foreign ownership".

The Financial Times (subscription required) also reports that housebuilder Crest Nicholson has said that "maintaining momentum through planning is a major challenge for the industry". The newspaper quotes a statement from the company saying: "We would like to see a renewed energy in the forthcoming Budget and a commitment to fully implement the 2017 Housing and Planning White Paper."

The Telegraph reports that "Stoke-on-Trent is hoping to once again regenerate its property market with a programme to sell off derelict houses for £1 a pop". The newspaper says that it is "the second time Stoke City Council has launched a scheme to sell off dilapidated properties, having first introduced the initiative in 2013, when 33 council houses in Cobridge were sold for £1, with each buyer then given a £30,000 loan to help renovate the property."

An article in the Financial Times (subscription required) examines the complexities of dealing with the myriad of social and economic problems faced by towns such as Blackpool. The newspaper says that "Blackpool is suffering from a highly concentrated dose of what seems to be going wrong in pockets of many developed countries."


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