Helen introduces a Bill to Parliament to fix the definition of affordable housing

Helen Hayes MP, Member of Parliament for Dulwich and West Norwood and Member of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee, has today introduced a Ten Minute Rule Bill – called the Planning (Affordable Housing and Land Compensation) Bill - in the House of Commons after Prime Minister’s Questions. You can read more and watch Helen's speech below>>

The Bill will ensure that the planning system is able to deliver the outcomes communities urgently need, especially genuinely affordable social housing, by closing important planning loopholes. It is supported by Shelter, the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), and a cross party group of MPs.

Her Bill will make three important changes to current planning law

  • It will fix the broken definition of ‘affordable’ housing, replacing the current definition of up to ‘80% of market price’ with a definition related to income.
  • It will limit the scope of ‘hope value’, which currently means landowners gain from the future speculative value of land. This dramatically inflates the cost and makes it much harder for Councils to buy land to build social housing. 
  • It specifies further legal guidelines used for viability testing in relation to planning decisions, including placing limitations on the expectations of developer profit and land values, providing greater certainty and transparency for landowners and communities.

Helen Hayes MP said: ‘Planning plays a critical role in the delivery of affordable housing, but there are some major problems at present which limit the effectiveness of our planning system and work in favour of landowners against the interests of communities. 

Our planning system must be able to deliver the genuinely affordable homes communities need.  More than this, communities must be able to trust that it will do so.  An ‘affordable’ home according to the planning system, must be a home that people on low incomes can actually afford; and the promises made both in Local Plans and planning applications should not be watered down later on grounds of viability.

 My Bill will restore community need at the heart of the planning system and increase the speed and quantum of affordable housing delivery.’

You can read Helen's article for the Fabian Society here


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  • Helen Hayes
    published this page in News 2019-08-05 17:16:55 +0100