• Research Briefing

    Rough sleeping (England)

    The 2020 autumn count in England recorded 2,688 rough sleepers, representing a fall of 37% on 2019 but 52% higher than the number recorded in 2010. This paper provides background information on the causes of rough sleeping and local authorities' duties. The Government has committed to end rough sleeping by 2024. A separate paper, Coronavirus: Support for rough sleepers (England), details specific measures in place to assist rough sleepers during the pandemic.

  • Research Briefing

    Planning for the Future: planning policy changes in England in 2020 and future reforms

    The Planning for the Future white paper published in August 2020, setting out the Government's proposals for "once in a generation" reform of England's planning system, and separate proposals to reform the current system of calculating housing need proved controversial. This briefing from the House of Commons Library examines those proposals and the other planning changes already made during the Covid-19 pandemic, including the announcement on 16 December 2020 on changes to the standard method for calculating housing need.

  • Research Briefing

    A voluntary Right to Buy for housing association tenants in England

    The 2015 Conservative Government committed to extend the Right to Buy to assured tenants of housing associations on a voluntary basis. The Conservative Party's 2019 Manifesto said the voluntary Right to Buy scheme would be maintained. No implementation date for full roll-out has been announced. A large regional pilot scheme in the Midlands was launched on 16 August 2018. An evaluation of the findings was published in February 2021. The Government has said that the impact of the pilot scheme will be assessed before decisions are made on the next steps. This paper provides background on the statutory Right to Buy and commentary on progress in developing and extending it to assured housing association tenants as a voluntary scheme.

  • Research Briefing

    Mortgage Arrears and Repossessions (England)

    This House of Commons Library briefing paper outlines temporary measures to assist homeowners to manage their mortgage payments during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. It considers lenders’ obligations towards homeowners who are struggling with their mortgage payments, outlines possible sources of advice for mortgagors, and discusses the mortgage support schemes that were introduced in response to the 2008 financial crisis.

  • Research Briefing

    Planning: change of use

    Certain changes of use can be done without planning permission, using what are known as permitted development rights (PDRs). This briefing formerly explained use classes and PDRs, examined recent changes and looked in depth at the controversy surrounding the PDR for change of use from office to residential accommodation.

  • Research Briefing

    Leasehold and commonhold reform

    This paper considers trends in leasehold ownership, ongoing problems associated with the sector, and Government plans for reform. The 2017 Government committed to legislate in this area "as soon as Parliamentary time allows". The Conservative Manifesto 2019 contained a pledge to “continue with our reforms to leasehold.” There is an intention to legislate in the forthcoming Parliamentary Session to set future ground rents to zero as the first part of "seminal two-part reforming legislation in this Parliament". The paper includes analysis of leasehold transaction data, including constituency statistics.

  • Research Briefing

    Tackling the under-supply of housing in England

    The Government is committed to increasing housing supply. This paper considers key trends in supply in the UK and goes on to focus on some of the key barriers and potential solutions to increasing supply in England. It refers to proposals contained in the Housing White Paper (February 2017) and in Planning for the Future (August 2020) and has been updated to take account of subsequent developments. Historical supply statistics for the UK are provided.

  • Research Briefing

    Households in temporary accommodation (England)

    This briefing paper provides background information on the increase in the number of homeless households placed in temporary accommodation by English local authorities and outlines various initiatives and issues associated with the increased use of temporary accommodation. It includes statistics on households in temporary accommodation at the end of June 2020.

  • Research Briefing

    Statutory Homelessness in England

    This briefing paper provides statistics on statutory homelessness in England and explains local authorities' duties to assist homeless households. The paper includes an overview of, and comment on, Government policy in this area. It also includes statistics on local authorities' activities for the period from April to June 2020, as well as statistics on homeless households' demographics and outcomes.

  • Research Briefing

    Green Belt

    This briefing from the House of Commons Library examines some of the recent concern and controversy about the Green Belt and discusses how the white paper Planning for the Future treats it. It applies only to England.

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