Minister aims to address “huge gaps” in critical housing data
27th October 2022
Yesterday Wednesday 26 October, the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel held its first Quarterly Public Hearing with the Minister for Housing and Communities, Deputy David Warr.
"We have limited data on both supply and demand" said Deputy Warr when asked about the housing data intelligence project. The panel heard the Minister explain that there are critical data gaps and will be working with stakeholders for better collection of data going forward.
During the hearing, Scrutiny Chair, Deputy Steve Luce asked Deputy Warr whether he thinks house prices will drop to which the Housing and Communities Minister responded with a firm "Yes, absolutely". The Minister also commented on the uncertainty of the mortgage markets at present and the panel heard Deputy Warr confirm that existing mortgage holders looking to renew are on average spending between £1000 - £2000 more per month and that there is around 300 Islanders currently in this position.
The panel Chair: Deputy Steve Luce questioned the Minister for Housing and Communities on Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) to which the panel heard Deputy Warr explain the reasons for using these non-traditional methods of building homes and is confident that it will bring the homes to the market quicker but there are limitations. The panel heard the Minister say that there are no guarantees that using Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) will be quicker and cheaper.
Vice Chair Deputy Rob Ward questioned the Minister for Housing and Communities on the introduction of a new £10m investment scheme to increase the rate of home ownership, which is one of his priorities in his Ministerial Plan. Deputy Warr explained that this investment is difficult to spend and confirmed that he is trying to find long-term benefit rather than headline grabbing news. Although, when questioned on the timeframe for delivery the Minister said there could be some "slippage".
Deputy Steve Luce, Chair of the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure panel said "It was an informative first quarterly hearing with the Housing and Communities Minister and we would like to thank Deputy Warr and his Officers for their insights. The meeting did bring to our attention the lack of clarity the Deputy has around the timescales for the £10m investment scheme and we would require further details on when in 2023 this will be"
Over the course of the hearing, the Panel also heard the Minister for Housing and Communities explain that a definition of key workers and key worker accommodation is to be created.
A full recording of the public hearing can be watched here
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