Headlines: April 5th, 2000

The Government has set out its plans to improve housing for those people unable to buy their own home in the current market.It says that its Housing Green Paper is the first comprehensive review of housing for 23 years, and affects both owner-occupiers and tenants.

Popular across the public sector is likely to be a new starter home package for relatively low paid key workers living in areas where housing is expensive. Teachers and nurses could get access to interest-free loans.

There’s help with maintainance and modernisation costs for homeowners and a range of help for people in social housing.

More help with housing costs is offered to assist unemployed people back to work, there’s action against unscrupulous landlords, and reform of housing benefit.

For local authorities, there is the offer of a strategic role in housing to replace their current dwindling position as housing providers, and more responsibility on them to take care of vulnerable young people who find themselves homeless.

Responses to the Housing Green Paper are invited by 31 July 2000. They should be emailed to Neil O’Connor at housing/greenpaper@detr.gsi.gov.uk

Copies of the Green Paper, Quality and Choice: A Decent Home for All – The Housing Green Paper are available from: DETR, Tel: 01709 891318, priced ten pounds.