05 March 2013
The Council of Ministers is supporting a proposal to bring together all housing policies into a Strategic Housing Unit, based in the Chief Minister’s Department, to co-ordinate housing policy.
At a recent meeting Ministers agreed it is essential to work together to provide decent, affordable homes for social housing tenants and first time buyers.
The Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, said “We know that many Islanders are in need of decent housing and many more are unable to afford to buy their own homes.
"The Housing Needs Survey and the Affordable Housing Gateway clearly outlined the shortfall faced by the Island in both social rented and affordable housing for purchase. We have discussed these issues at length and have resolved that immediate action is needed to address this.”
Reform of Social Housing
As a result of this meeting, Ministers agreed to support a proposition from the Housing Minister which will place social housing on a sustainable footing for the future.
The proposal, which was developed after a lengthy consultation on the ‘Achieving Decent Homes' White Paper, will now be taken to the States Assembly for debate in April 2013.
The proposal includes:
- the bringing together of all housing policies into a Strategic Housing Unit to co-ordinate housing policy – from within the Chief Minister’s Department
- the establishment of a regulator for social housing
- the reintroduction of the States fair rent policy, to establish social housing rents at near market levels
- the incorporation of States owned housing as a Company Limited by Guarantee, wholly owned by the States
The Housing Minister is pleased to have the support of the Council of Ministers for his proposition. Deputy Andrew Green MBE said “This is an important piece of work for the future of social housing in Jersey.
"If approved, it will place social housing provision on a sound footing and improve standards for tenants. It will also see the development of an Island wide housing strategy and policies to secure affordable housing.”