Here is my reaction to the publication of the government’s housing Green Paper that was published this morning.
Is that it? Have we had to wait for almost a year for this? Sajid Javid, the then Secretary of State promised us last September a ‘wide-ranging, top-to-bottom review of the issues facing the sector, the green paper will be the most substantial report of its kind for a generation.’
Three housing ministers and one Secretary of State later, the government’s Green Paper makes no commitment to build even one more home. The measures to help tenants hold their landlords to account is little more than putting in place something that the former Conservative housing minister, Grant Shapps, abolished seven years ago.
And as for league tables? Please! At the end of July I wrote: ‘I desperately hope that Ministers haven’t been wasting their time discussing league tables and other cosmetic measures. If they have, it will be nothing more than a distraction from the serious business of trying to solve the housing affordability and supply crisis.’
The Green Paper is a wasted opportunity. It does nothing to address housing supply, or affordability, or the conditions that led to the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
Rather than it being ‘the most substantial report of its kind for a generation’, it is the most disappointing report in my thirty years in housing.