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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2008): Social housing - UK

Implicit land taxation and affordable housing provision in England

M. Oxley

Housing Studies, vol. 23, 2008, p. 661-671

The Barker Review of Housing Supply in England proposed a Planning Gain Supplement (PGS) to tax windfall gains that result from residential planning permission. It was suggested that this new tax should function alongside scaled back planning obligations that require developers to provide benefits in kind, including affordable housing, in return for planning permission. Having consulted on these proposals, the government is now suggesting that there should not be a PGS, but that local authorities will be able to introduce a new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) for all development (not just residential) alongside a reformed system of planning obligations, which would still include provision of affordable housing. This paper argues that once the new levy is in place, developers should no longer be required to pay an additional implicit tax in the form of affordable housing provision. Affordable housing should be supported on the basis of need, not the resources available from the development process.

It's crunch time for social housing

N. Merrick

Public Finance, Aug. 1st-14th 2008, p. 12-13

This article outlines a series of government measures introduced to revive the house building industry, which is reeling from the effects of the credit crunch. These include the phasing in of local housing companies (joint ventures between local authorities and the private sector), allowing the Housing Corporation to give housing associations and other developers 80% of grant upfront (instead of 50%), use of 200m from the National Affordable Housing Programme to buy unwanted homes from private builders on behalf of registered social landlords, and launch of Rent to Homebuy, which will allow people to rent a property for up to three years at discounted rates prior to buying it.

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