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Grant Shapps' Speech--Merged

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I've just read the transcript.

One point stood out for me.

"I will also want to consider carefully the costs and benefits of continuing to have the same standards for market and social housing."

Mr Shapps, they don't have the same standards. Social housing has much higher standards.

E.g. space standards in Wales

"Rooms need to be large enough to take the furniture which tenants can be expected to need, in a convenient layout for everyday living with adequate space to move about. The shape of a room, the position of doors, windows, radiators and whether it is necessary to pass through a room to other parts of the house can greatly affect the amount of useable space it provides.

Excessively long narrow rooms should be avoided. Single bedrooms should have an average width of at least 2.1m and living rooms an average width of at least 3.1m (or 3.3m if it is necessary to pass through the room to other parts of the house).

All rooms should open off passageways.

In some houses where for example the living room is the full width of the house it is acceptable for the kitchen to open off, but not be open plan to it."

If you want to read the rest:

http://wales.gov.uk/desh/publications/housing/devquality/guide.pdf;jsessionid=8ppQM0YBDLc17npgtHYvhSLN19G2nS12Jg2nTyyh0s3HgLgVc6Cf!544308275?lang=en

Also this story from 2009 on the BBC website http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8052470.stm

"Thousands of developers' surplus new build homes in England are being rejected by housing associations as they are not of a high enough standard.

It is estimated there could be as many as 100,000 unsold new-build homes in the UK.

With about 4.5m people on housing waiting lists, the government has set up the Clearing House Fund to help housing associations in England buy some of the surplus housing stock that private developers fail to sell. Associations across England have already used the fund to buy about 5,000 homes and have funding to buy the same again.

Gavin Smart, of the National Housing Federation said: "It's very hard to put a number on homes we are rejecting. But it would be a significant proportion because private developers simply do not have to build to the same standards as housing associations. Many of the homes that we are being offered would not meet those standards and quite sensibly housing associations looking at those homes are saying they are not of a suitable quality for them to purchase."

Independent building inspector Steve Nancarrow told the BBC he had found 90 flaws in just one new-build flat valued at £210,000. Faulty electrics, no hot water, and leaking windows are just some of the problems he discovered.

"It's my job every day to go around people's houses and look at the quality of the units, and it's getting worse and worse. They are fobbing them off with rubbish," he said.

In order to be accepted by housing associations, developments have to meet high environmental standards, as well as being built to high specifications and to a minimum size.

In the private sector the specifications are lower and there is no minimum size. "

If GS doesn't know what he's talking about here, does he have a clue about anything?

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http://www.communities.gov.uk/speeches/newsroom/1737737

The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP

Minister for Housing and Local Government

Housing Market Intelligence Conference 2010

Date of speech: 12 October 2010

Location: Housing Market Intelligence Conference, Savoy Place, London.

Transcript of the speech as delivered.

Introduction

What would an intelligent Housing Market look like?

Quite simply, it would be a market that met people's aspirations:

Maybe to buy their own home;

Or to live close to their family and friends;

Or to move to find work.

That's not the market we've inherited.

By presiding over a system which saw house prices double in just ten years, the last Government ensured that buying a home was out of the question for the vast majority of wannabe first time buyers.

With a house now liable to cost perhaps seven times someone's earnings, it's no surprise that the average unsupported first time buyer is 37 years old.

This country is in danger of letting down the aspirations of yet another generation if homes do not become more affordable in the long term.

House price stability

So what is required now is a period of house price stability.

House price booms keep people out of the market.

And house price busts mean people's homes are worth less than they paid for them.

It's a market where today's expert tells you to "hold on folks, cos prices are gonna fall".

But don't be surprised if tomorrow's expert tells you that "now's the time to buy to make a killing" as house prices resume their upwards march.

It might even be the same expert! It will definitely be from the same newspaper!

Now I'm fully aware of the dangers of talking about the end of boom and bust.

But I think we need a market that's, well, boring. Where things are really quite predictable.

Where the pressure of making what could be the single biggest financial decision of your life, is based on your needs and desires, not on whether you feel lucky.

Buying a home shouldn't be like playing the lottery.

Sometimes it seems like we've all forgotten what our housing market is actually for.

To provide a roof over our heads.

A home where we feel safe, comfortable and happy.

Somewhere we can bring up our family or live alone.

I have a simple ambition.

An ambition for a period of house price stability.

This would provide a stable business environment for the building industry.

A market that means the industry can contribute to a sustainable economic recovery.

Of course I understand that market conditions don't exactly match this picture at the moment.

The economic legacy we inherited has made things very, very difficult for you and will do so for sometime.

Cutting the deficit

But we must look at the bigger picture and cut the public deficit.

We will abolish the structural deficit in this Parliament and we plan to make rapid progress towards that goal.

And in case you think deficit reduction is all pain and no gain you should ask Martin Lewis, the money savings expert. He pointed out yesterday that the cost of tracker mortgages fell to a record low during September as competition continued to return to the market, because deficit reduction promotes lower interest rates.

So it's really important that we keep interest rates low and improve credit availability for first time buyers, house movers, landlords and yes, housebuilders.

Cutting the deficit not only creates the right conditions for banks to lend to prospective home-buyers, but also better terms for housebuilders.

As a business man I know the personal investment and the hard work that makes for success.

And I wouldn't want that success to be threatened by interest rates rising quickly.

And, yes, the need to address the deficit means that the level of public expenditure will diminish.

This audience already knows that.

You know that the old assumptions have gone and if you are still in any doubt you will only have to wait til next week.

Targets

You didn't have to wait that long for us to scrap housebuilding targets.

Of course we must build more homes.

The 'demographic imperative' demands it.

But attempting to impose supply on local communities from the centre failed you, and failed those communities.

It makes a good headline to say that the abolition of targets has meant X fewer homes being built.

But it's a lazy headline

Because the numbers just don't stack up.

It's a false comparison - the targeted number of homes was simply never going to get built.

The communities they were imposed on were already making sure of that through judicial reviews, and being very vocal in their opposition.

Targets actually set neighbourhoods against development.

All the community saw was central Government imposing, and the community fought back.

Incentives

Instead what neighbourhoods need are incentives to accept new homes.

And that's where the powerful New Homes Bonus kicks in.

Communities could see reductions in council tax, or a redeveloped town centre or a new community centre in compensation for accepting new homes.

When the previous Government imposed a 10 000 home target in my constituency I led the No Way to 10 K campaign.

Revealingly all the political parties joined in.

Frankly, they had no alternative if they wanted to genuinely represent their community.

But what if the communities could see the benefit?

If the regeneration of Hatfield's tired town centre could be paid for through the New Homes Bonus?

It would transform that debate.

Incentives will be a powerful driver of an intelligent market.

But for the private sector to respond to that driver it must be set free from unnecessary regulation.

Complexity of regulation

So as we cut public expenditure, we will also cut state interference.

As you know HIPs are already history, for example.

Today I can announce I am intent on further reducing the burden of regulation.

I will make sure any regulation must be cost-effective and proportionate - driving down unnecessary expense.

You will have heard this before, but the difference is that we really mean it.

Just as we are serious about cutting the deficit, we are serious about reducing regulations.

Of course, Building Regulations will continue to set a national minimum requirement for all new homes to make sure they are safe and help us reach our climate change targets.

But we have already launched a review of the Building Regulations to identify where we can ease the burden on industry.

I know that Building Regs are not the only burdens: over time, the housebuilding industry has been asked to deal with a growing number of additional standards.

CABE have produced a simple diagram to explain how the various regulations, codes and standards relate to each other.

Of course this audience understands this diagram perfectly!

But to others it is a complex web of duplication, contradictory requirements, multiple points of assessment and compliance.

We will work hard to reduce this burden but we will need your help.

Commitment to reduce burden

I applaud the constructive way you are engaging with us to meet the zero carbon challenge.

Many of you will be working with the Zero Carbon Hub to test the appropriate carbon compliance level.

We are exploring the option for developers to meet further obligations through payments to fund local energy projects.

I will want to consider carefully the costs and benefits of continuing to have different standards for social and market housing.

I can also promise that we will keep planning requirements to a minimum.

Reducing the truckloads of paperwork required for a planning application.

There will be no more mad dash to hire a three ton truck to deliver planning documents as the deadline draws near.

Conclusion

Because what we want is a market where councils and housebuilders are free to act in the interest of local communities.

We will reduce the burden of regulation.

We will provide a powerful incentive that works.

We will free communities to demand that you build more homes.

We will do our bit.

In return we want you to do your bit.

To get out there and sell the benefits of new homes.

Not just to prospective home buyers but to the whole community, through the New Homes Bonus.

To make the market more intelligent the existing population must see the benefit of new homes.

Show them what the incentive can buy - what they can get for their money.

Together we can make localism work.

Together we can create the intelligent market we all want.

Thank you.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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the government has set up the Clearing House Fund to help housing associations in England buy some of the surplus housing stock that private developers fail to sell.

I knew this would happen. Lucky escape for the developers, and unlucky for those hapless professionals that fell for the 'Luxury Apartment' guff and will now be living next to Wayne & Waynetta.

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I knew this would happen. Lucky escape for the developers, and unlucky for those hapless professionals that fell for the 'Luxury Apartment' guff and will now be living next to Wayne & Waynetta.

That's from last year, mind. So far I haven't been able to find out what's happened to the scheme since the ConDems got in.

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Hmmm... I'll say that a carrot is usually better thana stick but it all depends on what they set this New Bonus at. Will it be enough incentive to counter the NIMBYs? When will it come into effect?

My main concern with this bonus is that it looks like it will be a flat rate, for the whole country. I don't think this will be enough to convince councils in nice towns in the south. Paradoxically it may work better in areas that don't have housing shortage!

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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He's just found a use for all those empty city centre apartments.

Win/win (unless you bought one :lol:)

Edit: What else.....ah yes....'light touch' regulation......sounds familiar so far.......goldilocks 'stability' - no rises/no falls........new home bonus to his 'mates'. Wondrous. Even more new build crap to even lower quality and a permanent plateau in prices.......forever. :P

Edited by Frank Sidebottom

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The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP

Minister for Housing and Local Government

Housing Market Intelligence Conference 2010

Date of speech 12 October 2010

Location Housing Market Intelligence Conference, Savoy Place, London.

Transcript of the speech as delivered.

http://www.communities.gov.uk/speeches/newsroom/1737737

Is it just me, or there isn't anything new there?

I just read it again, and the only possibility of new news there is in these "regulations".

But aren't building plots the biggest bottle neck, and the main cost??

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Isn't this guy taking funding from the mortgage industry? Just another VI front man it seems.

Meet the new boss.

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It's all there chaps.

He acknowledges that houses are currently unaffordable.

He wants stability...

so that houses can return to affordability "over the long term".

In other words he wants to keep them at their current level and let incomes catch up.

That will take DECADES.

He tacitly acknowledges this too by stating that we are in danger of destroying the aspirations of yet another generation, the implication being that our generation are already lost.

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"So it's really important that we keep interest rates low and improve credit availability for first time buyers, house movers, landlords and yes, housebuilders."

Epic fail. We had a boom because of low interest rates and excess credit. All that does is help the banks.

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It's all there chaps.

He acknowledges that houses are currently unaffordable.

He wants stability...

so that houses can return to affordability "over the long term".

In other words he wants to keep them at their current level and let incomes catch up.

That will take DECADES.

He tacitly acknowledges this too by stating that we are in danger of destroying the aspirations of yet another generation, the implication being that our generation are already lost.

Maybe. I think you are right, but I am not sure. He couldn't just say he wanted a crash.

They may still want that 25% reduction in real prices in this parliament, mostly masked by inflation?

_________

Edit: "yet another generation". :huh: Well spotted! That is the scariest part of the speech, as it looks like a Freudian slip!

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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"So it's really important that we keep interest rates low and improve credit availability for first time buyers, house movers, landlords and yes, housebuilders."

Epic fail. We had a boom because of low interest rates and excess credit. All that does is help the banks.

Epic fail indeed. The last thing you want to do to achieve his stated aim of better affordability for FTBs is make credit more easily available for landlords.

Does not compute.

Edited by BTL Cattle

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He’s sticking strictly to his portfolio, probably been warned not to tread on anyone’s toes. His take on sustainability is sticky limited to the four walls of the household and fails to accept that employment and housing have traditionally gone hand in hand. As two thirds of oil is consumed in transport, having whole communities migrate daily to work by car is plain illogical let alone damaging for the families home life.

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"So it's really important that we keep interest rates low and improve credit availability for first time buyers, house movers, landlords and yes, housebuilders."

Epic fail. We had a boom because of low interest rates and excess credit. All that does is help the banks.

But for how long will they be ABLE to keep interest rates this low? Inflation is still above target, and higher VAT won't help.

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"So it's really important that we keep interest rates low and improve credit availability for first time buyers, house movers, landlords and yes, housebuilders."

Epic fail. We had a boom because of low interest rates and excess credit. All that does is help the banks.

+1

I thought interest rate setting was in the hands of the BofE and should target inflation not 'help' the housing market.j

interest rates too low for too long and too much easy lending was what got us into the current mess.

all those BTL landlords with their trackers must be laughing all the way to the bank.

just think how much extra tax could be collected if the tax breaks for landlords were removed :angry:

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I said months ago, before the election, on this very forum, that Grant Shapps was a moron (I may be paraphrasing slightly here).

How many posters claimed things would be better if the Tories got in?

Bitter, moi?

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If you want to encourage housebuilding, keep the planning rules how they are but allow local councils to impose huge taxes on any agricultural land sold for development. The money could be used to fund local services or cut council tax. That way the planning windfall cash goes to local people, not land speculators.

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If you want to encourage housebuilding, keep the planning rules how they are but allow local councils to impose huge taxes on any agricultural land sold for development. The money could be used to fund local services or cut council tax. That way the planning windfall cash goes to local people, not land speculators.

The ConDems scrapped Regional Spatial Study http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regional_Spatial_Strategy in July because they believe that housing allocation decisions should be made on a local rather than regional basis. The trouble with this is that it does bring disjoined thinking across a region, be it the supply of services, transport infrastructure etc...

Interesting in my area, they've revised the number of houses allocated till 2026 down by 3,000.

Edited by Dave Beans

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If you want to encourage housebuilding, keep the planning rules how they are but allow local councils to impose huge taxes on any agricultural land sold for development. The money could be used to fund local services or cut council tax. That way the planning windfall cash goes to local people, not land speculators.

Unless its compulsory purchase, history says the farmers just wait for the next government before selling up.

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But for how long will they be ABLE to keep interest rates this low? Inflation is still above target, and higher VAT won't help.

The MPC can keep base rates low as long as they think (or can claim that) financial stability outweighs inflation.

With austerity measures to last at least 10 years (IMO), that gives them a long time to keep base rates low and let inflation (default) partly solve the problem.

As to whether the government will be able to borrow at near base rate, that is a different question.

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