Gavin Barwell interviewed on “Peston on Sunday”


Robert Peston spoke with Gavin Barwell, Housing Minister, on the Sunday 5th February 2017 episode of “Peston on Sunday” programme on ITV, ahead of the publication of a new housing White paper due to be released on Tuesday.

The full programme is available on the ITV hub for one month.

In the programme Barwell admits the dire state of affairs that the UK housing market is in:

I think housing has become more and more unaffordable for people that are trying to buy or trying to rent because governments for thirty or forty years have not built enough homes. So what this White paper is fundamentally going to say is that we need to build more homes in this country.

Mr Barwell goes on to explain the approach the government intends to take, which is in essence to encourage all possible routes to homes being built:

We want to see more housing built in this country of every kind and at the moment we are far too dependent on a small number of large developers building our homes, so we need to get more small builders, more institutional investment, housing associations, councils, the more people that get involved in building homes the happier we’ll be.

When pressed on whether the Theresa May government supports the rhetoric abound when David Cameron was at the helm, of encouraging a supply of starter homes, Barwell explained that this is seen as only part of the solution, citing shared ownership and Rent-to-Buy as alternative options to achieve the solution.

Whilst Barwell acknowledges that there is a need for rented accommodation in the mix, his views centred around the building of property and not the renting of the property once built.

We can only hope that the May government comes to realise how important UK landlords are in fulfilling their housing goals and that the many punishing steps against the industry of late have perhaps been a step too far.

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