24 March 2016
The Minister for Housing, Deputy Anne Pryke has publishing a new Housing Strategy.
It focuses on delivering new housing and getting the most out of our existing housing; and improving housing standards and the neighbourhoods in which we live.
It is based on all the available evidence, including the recent Housing Needs Survey, latest housing completion rates, and the Housing Gateway. It pulls together existing work with new planned work into a single coherent programme, including:
- much stronger emphasis on delivering more affordable homes for rent and purchase – speeding up housing on surplus States-owned sites, intensifying joint working with social housing providers, and new legislation to promote shared equity schemes
- new regulation and schemes to support the social housing and private rental sectors – helping good landlords to be better, tackling poor standards, and improving access to the Housing Gateway
- ensuring that the regeneration of St Helier has at its heart sustainable and welcoming communities – with more and better housing and good public amenities supporting each other.
Deputy Pryke said “I was pleased with the level of interest generated when we consulted on the strategy, during which we received some very useful comments and suggestions.
"For example, the new strategy outlines clearly that there is no intention to abolish housing qualifications, but that we need to support targeted migration while making the current housing qualification system fairer, helping to reduce hardship.”
Deputy Pryke added “Housing is critical to our quality of life. The Island faces a number of challenges – in terms of prices and quality, and the need to enhance the amenities available to communities.
“We cannot change this overnight, but the new strategy sets out the important role that Jersey’s government has to play in making sure that everyone enjoys more secure, stable, and affordable housing.”
The Minister also welcomed the new Housing Needs Survey published by the Statistics Unit. It shows that there is still a shortfall of housing overall, although the situation has considerably improved since 2012. Affordability remains a particular challenge. This is illustrated by the shift in demand to smaller units, particularly two-bedroom homes, and by the number of people who have a desire to own their own homes, but cannot afford it.
Deputy Pryke said “The outcome of this survey is key to understanding the needs of Islanders, and it will help as we deliver the Housing Strategy, particularly as we focus on delivering more affordable homes.”
Further detailed analysis of all aspects of the survey results will take place over the coming weeks.