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Implementation of the Housing and Planning Act 2016

Published Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Housing and Planning Act 2016 (HPA 2016) received Royal Assent on 12 May 2016. This briefing paper outlines progress in implementing the Act's provisions. Several key measures in the Act will not be taken forward, such as 'pay to stay' and mandatory fixed-term tenancies for local authority landlords in England.

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On publication of the Housing and Planning Bill 2015-16 the Government said it would kick-start a "national crusade to get 1 million homes built by 2020" and transform "generation rent into generation buy."

Although it is over two years since the Bill was given Royal Assent on 12 May 2016, some of the Act's key provisions are yet to be implemented. On publication of the social housing Green Paper on 14 August 2018, A new deal for social housing, the Government confirmed that several measures would not be implemented.

The Housing and Planning Act 2016 (HPA) provides the legislative basis for the Starter Homes Initiative (see the related Library paper for more details) but these provisions are not yet in force. The revised National Planning Policy Framework published on 24 July 2018 confirmed that, with some exceptions, on large sites a minimum of 10% of affordable home ownership products are expected – the requirement to include a percentage of Starter Homes has not been taken forward.

Measures aimed at tackling 'rogue' landlords and agents came into force in April 2018.

The HPA 2016 contains a number of measures to reform social housing. The mandatory 'pay to stay' policy has been dropped as has the requirement on local authorities to offer only fixed-term tenancies.

The Act does not give assured housing association tenants a statutory Right to Buy their homes, but it does provide for local authorities to make annual payments to the Exchequer. The intention was to use these payments to cover the cost of discounts for those tenants who exercise a voluntary Right to Buy. The Government has said that they “will not bring the Higher Value Assets provisions of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 into effect” and “will look to repeal the legislation when Parliamentary time allows.” 

The provisions on Custom and self-build housing have been in force since 31 October 2016 and Regulations aimed at reducing the regulation of housing associations came into force on 16 November 2017.

A number of the Act's planning measures are in force, including those relating to neighbourhood and local planning and permission in principle and local registers of land.  The HPA 2016 allows the Secretary of State to impose restrictions on planning obligations (section 106 agreements) but these measures are not yet in force. The Community Infrastructure Levy Review Team has made some recommendations about how the Government could better use section 106 agreements.

Most of the compulsory purchase measures in Part 7 of the Act are in force. The measures concerning disputes and compensation came into force on 6 April 2018.


Commons Briefing papers CBP-8229

Authors: Alexander Bellis; Wendy Wilson; Gabrielle Garton Grimwood

Topics: Housing, Housing supply, Owner occupation, Planning, Private rented housing, Social rented housing

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