We need a Secretary of State for Housing

29th April 2015 by Alistair Hargreaves

An urban planning minister is urgently needed to develop a long-term strategy for housing to go alongside promises of new build houses.

Meeting pre-election commitments on housing supply is arguably easier than making tough and expensive decisions on infrastructure, which is required to sustain new builds and ultimately ensure they’re a viable and attractive proposition.

Failure to adequately invest alongside house builders could lead to already clogged roads surpassing their limits and poor access to basic services likes schools and hospitals. The like of which we’re already witnessing in popular regions like Cambridge.

A centralised housing planning arm is the best way to address these and similar issues, as they would be able keep a holistic perspective in the midst of election pressure.

We have ministries for health, food and transportation, so why does housing – arguably just as basic a need – lack a secretary of state? Affording housing the proper level of attention will ensure it receives the level of coverage and importance to meet the impact it has on our way of life.

If better roads, railways and public services are not created, we risk creating more regional house price disparity, further inflation in popular areas and people forced to live in overcrowded areas for a lack of alternatives.

As mortgage consultants, we want to see a progressive yet responsible and sustainable housing market and infrastructure is an area that causes us a lot of concern when we look ahead five years.

 

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