Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool and Core Cities UK Cabinet Member for Housing, said:
“Core Cities UK welcomes the fact that government has belatedly recognised the severity of the housing crisis and is rethinking its approach to housing.
“If we are to generate growth for all, we need to make sure everyone has access to a decent, warm and affordable home. The lack of genuinely affordable housing represents a significant threat to our cities’ economic and social futures.
“Previous policies haven’t worked. It is not in the interest of the major housebuilders to significantly increase the supply of housing and it remains to be seen if the SME sector has the capacity or resource to fill the gap and deliver government’s one million homes target.
“Other delivery mechanisms have to be used to bridge this gap whether this be greater funding for registered providers to build more or changes to financial regulations that will allow local authorities to provide more housing.
“We welcome government’s new focus on homes for rent both as a tenure in its own right and also a staircase into home ownership, however the quality of rented homes needs to be improved.
“We also welcome the government’s new flexibilities around the affordable homes programme, tackling rogue landlords and improving the security of tenure.
“However, there is still much about current housing policy that needs to change. National policies are still too focussed on issues affecting London and the South East and funding streams are still overly complex and require simplifying.
“Cities also need dedicated regeneration funding to help deliver housing on brownfield land that will ease pressure elsewhere (including on green belts), deliver sustainable neighbourhoods and address the issues associated with an ageing and poor quality housing stock.
“The housing crisis requires urgent action, tailored to suit the specific local needs of communities, and not more rhetoric.
We will have to wait and see if the White Paper results in a genuine change in the right direction. Core Cities UK is keen to get on with the job and start to build and to ensure our current housing stock meets future needs.
“Westminster needs to work with us if it is to have any hope of meeting its ambitious target and we plan to meet with the Secretary of State soon to discuss this further.”