Friday 25 August 2017
Guernsey needs between 97 and 157 additional local market homes each year over the five years from 2017 - 2021, according to findings in an independent Guernsey Housing Market Review.
The review, conducted by KPMG, has been published today and suggests that between 486 and 783 additional local market units are required by the end of 2021 to meet the island's housing needs.
KPMG further breaks down the total required by stating the island needs between 146 and 209 affordable housing units and between 340 and 574 private housing units over the same period.
The report makes a number of recommendations for the States to consider, including:
- Working with the Guernsey Housing Association to develop a secondary partial ownership scheme that incentivises stair-casing to 100% ownership over a defined period. This would support first-time buyers who can afford ongoing mortgage costs but cannot meet transaction costs and deposits
- Identifying areas of land suitable for first-time buyer housing and applying relevant zoning or planning conditions to help encourage first home developments
- Considering the removal of document duty and bond fees for first-time buyers
- Forming a working party to monitor the mortgage market and approaching potential new lenders to better understand their appetite for lending and their needs to operate successfully in Guernsey
- Assessing future key worker definitions and accommodation needs, and if desirable liaising with the private sector to better understand their appetite for developing housing for this need.
The Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure, working with the Committee for Employment & Social Security and the Policy & Resources Committee, commissioned the Guernsey Housing Market Review in response to a successful Amendment placed by Deputy Soulsby in September 2015.
Deputy Barry Brehaut, President of the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure, said:
'This detailed independent report offers the committees valuable information to consider before we report to the States with our recommendations.
'In terms of the number of homes the island needs to be developed, the States of Guernsey currently has a "target" of granting planning permission for on average 300 new dwellings a year. While the number of planning permissions granted for new homes exceeds the target each year, in practice the States has no control regarding whether the homes are subsequently built by developers. As such the number of new homes built each year differs greatly from the number of planning applications approved.
'The independent report offers many options for the States to consider when developing housing policy and the Committees will now engage with each other, and other key stakeholders such as the GHA, before finalising our plans.'
Deputy Michelle Le Clerc, President of the Committee for Employment & Social Security, said:
'The report and its recommendations will make an important contribution to the debate, and is a very useful source of information for the Committee for Environment and Infrastructure and the Committee for Employment and Social Security as we progress the development of new housing policy for Guernsey.
'From an Employment & Social Security point of view, it provides useful information that will help inform our continued efforts to ensure the island has enough social housing to meet the island's long-term needs.'
Deputy Gavin St Pier, President of the Policy & Resources Committee, said:
'The Policy & Resources Committee welcomes the report and believes it will be a useful tool for the two lead committees. P&R members look forward to further discussions with both the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure and the Committee for Employment & Social Security, as they develop their proposals.'
The full report, which cost almost £100,000, can be found at www.gov.gg/article/155165/Reports-from-one-off-Research-Projects-and-Surveys.