YHG Comment: CEO Brian Cronin on the housing revolution
Could renting a home become the tenure of choice in the UK? For years, home-ownership has been the ultimate life ambition, a marker for coming-of-age couples and a must-have sanctuary for growing families.
The Government’s Housing White Paper, announced this week, marks a sea-change in how it wants to tackle the housing crisis – the growing shortage of affordable places to live in the UK. Acknowledging that solving the crisis will take a long time, it sees the rental sector playing a much bigger, longer-term role in tackling that crisis.
If tenures other than outright ownership are key to solving the housing crisis, then something of a culture shift needs to happen too. People in the UK need to see renting as a desirable, more long-term lifestyle choice, rather than only a stop-gap or a step towards home ownership (even though it can be those things too).
The White Paper also recognises that the planning system needs a play its part in reducing delays and the industry needs to innovate and attract new players to the house-building sector. In other words, new thinking and greater speed is required
Our groundbreaking joint venture with WeLink and China National Building Material Company puts Your Housing Group on the front foot. At a stroke, we can deliver new-build methods, faster construction, and tackle a skills shortage issue the White Paper also cites as a barrier to building homes.
Our modular homes will be energy efficient and available through a mix of tenure types. Your Housing Group recognises, just as the Government does, that deciding between ownership and rental is a “false choice” – the decision should be about what homes people want, where they want them, at a price they can afford.
It’s clear from the White Paper that the Government believes constructing homes with a mixture of tenures in mind will help get Britain building. It sets out an ambition to give tenants more long-term security beyond traditional six- and 12-month agreements and encourages developers to focus on creating high quality, affordable homes to rent.
Again, Your Housing Group already offers a mix of tenure types, including shared ownership. Our high quality Hive private rental properties provide extra services too, designed to make life easy for busy people. Our philosophy – to build more homes so people from all backgrounds and at all stages of life can thrive – is certainly shared by the points raised in this White Paper.
If this is to mark the start of new thinking in the UK – that renting a home becomes a desirable lifestyle choice based on need, the quality of the home and its location – then Your Housing Group through its exciting new Joint Venture will be at the centre of this new housing revolution.