Ben Lowndes #viewsoncomms

A perspective on PR, development and life in the South West

Housing hits the headlines

The publication of the housing strategy has led to some interesting headlines over the weekend, which I thought I’d share below. Notwithstanding the complexity of the issues around housing in this country, it’s interesting to see how different media treat the same information. 

The Guardian played it straight on Friday with a piece setting out plans to use brownfield sites to deliver 450,000 new homes. It also highlighted a Government-backed mortgage scheme which would help first time buyers struggling to access finance get on the housing ladder.

The Telegraph, meanwhile, yesterday wrote of plans to double the right to buy discount offered to council house tenants, to up to 50% of the value of their home, with receipts being used to build replacements. 

The Daily Mail followed a similar theme, with its headline that 2m council homes will be sold to tenants, to support the building of 100,000 new ones and the creation of twice as many jobs. Hundreds of comments from readers were made under this story.

Inside Housing helpfully sets out the various policy strands that combine to make up the 450,000 new homes proposed: 170,000 would come through the HCA’s Affordable Homes Programme, 100,000 via the release of public sector land and 100,000 off the back of the revived right to buy, with the remainder to be detailed tomorrow.

The Indy ran a piece of wire copy setting out Labour’s critique of the plans yesterday. The Downing Street spokesman quoted at the end summed up the situation well when saying: “It is all just speculation. The housing strategy will be published next week.”

Some bloggers have made interesting contributions ahead of tomorrow too. Considering nothing has been tabled yet, it makes you wonder whether there will be anything left to report by the time that it is. But it’s good to see housing hit the headlines for the right reasons and a clear link made between building new homes and economic growth.

I await tomorrow’s reaction with interest.

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