04 June 2021
The Minister for Housing and Communities, Deputy Russell Labey, has published an Action Plan outlining his priorities for the Island's housing sector.
Creating better homes: an action plan for housing in Jersey identifies five priority areas where action is needed:
- stronger system leadership
- increase supply and manage demand
- rental choices for all
- help to own a home
- building stronger communities, putting children first
The Minister will launch a Strategic Housing Partnership allowing those in the housing sector to discuss challenges, opportunities, and contribute to the development of Government policy. A new Strategic Housing and Regeneration team will ensure housing supply is meeting demand, and a new Creating Better Homes Political Oversight Group will co-ordinate housing policy across Ministerial departments.
A range of new policies and systems will be implemented to help to improve the supply of new homes. By 2025, there will be an 80% increase in housing starts (how many homes are starting construction), and 1,000 new affordable homes available.
Before the end of 2021, the Minister will implement recommendations from the ongoing review of the Social Rent Policy; and examine ways to extend Islanders' eligibility for social housing. A timetable will be published outlining actions to increase tenants' rights within the Residential Tenancy Law, and to protect private sector tenants from excessive rent increases.
Independent research will be commissioned into the accessibility of mortgages and where improvements can be made. Following this, by mid-2022, up to £10 million will be invested to support local families purchasing their first home. Research is already underway to develop a new scheme to help those wishing to 'right-size' to homes that better suit their needs.
Actions to build stronger communities includes supporting people at risk of homelessness, the full roll-out of the Housing Advice Service, increasing accommodation for key workers, and implementing actions to involve the work outlined within the Jersey Care Model and draft Island Plan.
Minister for Housing and Communities, Deputy Russell Labey, said: "I am pleased to publish this Creating better homes plan today. It summarises my extensive Action Plan which I have spent my first 100 days in the office putting together, alongside a dedicated team of experts.
"The pressure on our housing market shows the need for a greater supply of homes in the Island and for improved collaboration between the Government and industry. In order to meet the challenges we face, I have accelerated a key recommendation from the Housing Policy Development Board. My new Strategic Partnership will bring together community, industry and Government voices, and will be supported by a Strategic Housing and Regeneration team, which will be formed in the next few weeks.
"I am determined to ensure Government owned land is released earlier to housing providers so that the new homes pipeline stretches further into the future, allowing us to improve planning and be ready to build when sites become available.
"As we build more, we should strive to build better, continually challenging ourselves, be it the simplicity of providing sufficient green space for children to grow and play, keeping a community focus, or the complexities of Carbon Neutrality compliance.
"A Housing Political Oversight Group is already running, and I am immediately commissioning research that will best assist those wanting to take their first step on the property ladder.
"I would like to thank those who have assisted me in formulating this action plan and I am looking forward to achieving the array of actions set out in those five key areas of priority."