Housing Policy Development Board
Draft Terms of Reference
1.1. To examine the housing market in Jersey and develop comprehensive policy proposals that improve the supply, affordability, access to, and standard of housing in the island. These proposals to be considered for incorporation in, and delivery via, the Government Plan, the Island Plan 2021-2030, and other delivery strategies as appropriate.
- Background and rationale
2.1. The Council of Ministers’ Statement of Common Strategic Policy 2018–2022 (CSP) includes a priority to reduce income inequality and improve the standard of living. In order to support the delivery of this priority, the Council of Ministers will take action to improve the quality and affordability of housing in Jersey. Ministers have made a commitment to:
- Secure a consistent supply of good quality homes that are affordable.
- Improve the quality of rented homes.
- Strengthen the rights of tenants.
2.2. A Housing Policy Development Board has been established to develop policy proposals that support the delivery of the priorities identified in the Statement of Common Strategic Policy 2018-2022.
2.3. In establishing the Housing Policy Development Board, a number of workstreams have been identified that the Chief Minister and the Minister for Children and Housing wish the Board to give consideration to immediately, including the issue of foreign investment in property in the island and the impact of the present social housing rents policy. These are included in the indicative list of issues that may be considered by the Board attached as an appendix.
2.4. However, it is acknowledged that structural issues in Jersey’s housing market cannot be addressed without a long-term strategy that delivers sustainable, holistic and coherent policy solutions. In this context, the Board will be responsible for a wide-ranging review of the housing market in Jersey. The Board will:
(a) Investigate challenges in Jersey’s housing market.
(b) Examine the factors that affect the supply, affordability, access to, and the standard of housing affordability of housing in Jersey.
(c) Make recommendations for policy development in view of the findings of (a) and (b) with particular focus on the funding arrangements required to deliver those recommendations.
2.5. This work is in line with the long-term vision adopted by Future Jersey, which recognises the need for policies that deliver improvements for the community over the next 20 year period. In relation to housing, Future Jersey highlights a need to find solutions to home ownership; reduce rental stress; and improve the supply and quality of the island’s housing through new development and making better use of the existing housing resources.
- Roles and responsibilities of the Board
3.1. The Board shall:
- Examine the housing market in Jersey, including issues relating to the supply of and demand for housing; access to and the affordability of housing; the standard of housing; and land use and financial arrangements used to secure housing provision. (See appendix: ‘Indicative list of matters that may be considered’).
- Have oversight of an independent long-term review of Jersey’s housing market.
- Consider primary and secondary sources of information and data. Commission additional research and undertake field visits where required.
- Hear evidence from a broad cross-section of stakeholders who are involved in the provision of housing, which will include the voluntary and community sector, social housing providers, the construction industry, property developers, banks and legal professionals; tenants and home owners; and landlords and agents. To interrogate that evidence.
- Learn from policy approaches adopted in other jurisdictions.
- Have regard to and cover the impact of housing provision on Jersey’s physical environment, and the interaction with broader Government strategy and policy, including the economic framework, planning, and population and migration policy.
- Explore innovative solutions to fund and incentivise housing provision, including in relation to land purchase and development costs, and supporting people to rent and or own homes.
- Membership and support
Chair (To be confirmed)
Independent Chair (housing/regeneration expertise)
Board Members (To be confirmed)
- Minister for Children and Housing
- Minister for the Environment
- Minister for Infrastructure (States property function)
- Minister for Treasury and Resources
- Assistant Minister for the Environment
- Assistant Minister for Treasury and Resources
- States Member
- States Member
The Chief Minister may attend and participate in the work of the Board as determined. Other Ministers may attend and participate as requested by the Chair when a specific workstream affects their Ministerial portfolio.
- Senior officer representation from the Department for Growth Housing and Environment; Department for Strategic Policy, Performance and Population; and Department for Treasury and Exchequer
The Board will appoint an agreed number of lay-members.
Non-member participants may be represented by a delegate
External housing specialist to:
- manage the work and activities of the Board
- undertake research (primary and secondary; identification and liaison with expert witnesses
- scope policy, delivery and financing recommendations
- prepare final reports
Government of Jersey executive support
Policy Principal, Strategic Policy, Performance and Population Department
5.1. The Board shall work to the following timetable:
- March 2019 – Scope out and make recommendations for the areas of enquiry for the Board during 2019/2020.
- March 2019 – Key worker accommodation report: receive recommendations on key working housing and set out delivery and financing options for consideration for incorporation in the 2020-2023 Government Plan (Year 1), the Island Plan and other delivery strategies, as appropriate.
- April 2019 – commence a programme of research and enquiry into housing issues and challenges facing Jersey.
- Throughout 2019 (up to December 2019)publish findings and make recommendations on resource and policy options, including land use recommendations and financial and fiscal measures for consideration of inclusion in the Island Plan in 2021, the Government Plan or other relevant strategies.
- Records and reporting
6.1. Minutes of meetings will be taken to ensure that a proper official record is maintained. Minutes will be published as soon as practical and appropriate.
6.2. The findings of the Board will be drafted into a report by the expert advisors and, following approval by the Chair, provided to the Chief Minister and the responsible Ministers. The dissent of any member will be noted where requested. The findings will also be provided to the Council of Ministers, following which the report will be published as soon as practical and appropriate.
Appendix – Indicative list of matters that may be considered by the Board
In establishing the Housing Policy Development Board, a number of issues have been identified that the Chief Minister wishes the Board to give consideration to as part of its work.
In relation to the factors that affect the supply, affordability, access to, and standard of housing of housing, the Board is asked to consider the impact of:
- Demographic changes and migration policy
- Household incomes (relative to the cost of purchasing or renting a home)
- Interest rates
- The taxation system (in relation to property ownership)
- The availability and cost of land
- Housing rights and residential statuses
- Transaction costs
- The provision of mortgage credit; and
- Development costs.
The Board should take into consideration the interaction of these factors with the planning system, and the fiscal, policy and legislative environment to the extent that they impact on the provision of housing.
The Board will, in particular, need to consider the Objective Assessment of Housing Need Report (“the OAHNR”), which provides an estimate of Jersey’s housing requirements for the period 2021-2030. This report is important for both defining challenges in the housing market and considering supply-oriented policy options.
Based on its findings of the enquiry and research stage of the review, the Board will consider and make recommendations of potential measures to improve the supply, affordability, access to, and standard of housing of housing (to the extent they are identified as issues).
The Board may wish to give consideration to measures that:
a) Increase supply
- Deliver an increase in the supply of housing of the right size and tenure – owner-occupied, social rented, private rented and ‘registered’ accommodation.
- Provide appropriate accommodation for households with specialist housing requirements – key workers, older people, disabled people and young people.
- Ensure the planning system, taxation system and legislative environment supports the provision of housing.
- Promote the take up of innovative and proactive ways of building homes.
- Encourage institutional investment in the private rented sector.
b) Support the efficient use of the island’s existing housing stock
- Make efficient use of existing housing stock, taking into account long-term vacant properties and under-occupation.
- Consider the impact on supply, demand and affordability of restricting buy-to-let investments, particularly by unqualified non-resident persons.
c) Improve the affordability of housing
- Improve access to social rented accommodation for households in housing need.
- Provide fair and affordable social housing rents, and provide a viable long-term funding model for the provision of social housing.
- Make available assisted home ownership schemes for households who are unable to purchase a home in the open market.
- Regulate costs, standards and security of tenure in the private rented sector – rent stabilisation and longer tenancies.
Any other matter that may be relevant may be considered with the agreement of the Chair, the Chief Minister and the Minister for Children and Housing.