Scrutiny sees some positives for housing situation, but more details needed on regulations

4th July 2024

The Environment, Housing, and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel (the Panel) has been hearing from the Minister for Housing, Deputy Sam Mézec at their regular Quarterly Hearing.

The Panel was pleased to hear positive results from the First Steps Scheme, to help first time buyers, and that the Minister is responding to feedback from the first two tranches and will be encouraging more family homes in the next tranche in September.

The Minister was also asked about the proposed Residential Tenancy Law. Deputy Mézec said he is continuing to consult with stakeholders, including the Landlords Association, but the Panel was concerned about the lack of detail in some of the plans. In particular, the approach to the termination of tenancies, including notice periods and how rent rises will be capped. There was also a lack of clarity as to the formation of a rent tribunal and what the composition of this body would be.

Deputy Alex Curtis, of the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Panel, said: 'While the Minister clearly stated his priority is "how we do housing" referring to law and regulatory changes, we did note that there is still detail missing from his plans for a Residential Tenancy Law, which is likely to create concern and confusion for stakeholders. In addition, the Panel looks forward to seeing how housing priorities are represented in the upcoming Government Plan, as Deputy Mézec said there are no big ticket items from his department likely to be included.'

The Panel also heard that:

  • Neither the Minister for Housing nor the Minister for the Environment sit on the re-established Regeneration Steering Group, which provides political guidance to inform policy guidelines for all major Public property and regeneration projects.
  • Two years from the approval of the Bridging Island Plan, the Minister said the majority of developers for the sites rezoned for housing have yet to get in contact, but that didn't currently concern him. The Panel noted that compulsory purchase could be an option in a year.
  • Agreement for the Les Sablons development had been made in principle but had yet to be signed.

You can watch a full recording of the hearing or on YouTube

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