It seems that Chancellor Hammond has decided to base housing policy on evidence rather than bow to pressure from special interest groups and ill-informed commentators.
In the document leaked in the early hours of the morning he states:
“Over the last year or so I have heard many calls for housebuilding targets to be increased. On the surface this seems to be a common sense response but I find the evidence from Ian Mulhearn [https://firstname.lastname@example.org/londons-housing-non-shortage-a059593432b5], compelling.
Building more houses when house building already exceeds household formation is utterly pointless. The problem is not the supply of houses but the distribution of housing. I am therefore introducing measures to restrict purchases of all homes to those actually needing a home rather than to use as an investment or holiday home. Funds will be made available so that Housing associations and local authorities can build or buy houses to rent and the benefits cuts especially those which impact on housing costs will be reversed. Tax measures will be introduced to ensure that houses currently used as second or holiday homes or buy-to-let are moved back into residential use. Current owners will be able to retain the properties whilst allowing them to be rented out for people in need of housing, but if sold or passed on to relatives they will have to be transferred to permanent residential use.
I know that many in this House will be a little upset by these proposals as they will affect a number of Members who hold such property and those who regard the financial rewards of builders and developers more than they consider the needs of people who want affordable housing. But I am sure they will join with me in making a sacrifice for the greater good.”