A new board has been set up to investigate the challenges facing the housing market as part of the Government of Jersey’s commitment to reduce income inequality and improve islanders’ standards of living.
The Housing Policy Development Board will conduct a wide-ranging review of the housing market before developing a series of proposals aimed at improving the supply, affordability, access to, and standard of housing in the island.
The new board comes after the Council of Ministers’ unveiled its priority within the Common Strategic Policy 2018-2022 to reduce income inequality and improve the standard of living. To do this ministers have committed to securing a consistent supply of good quality, affordable homes as well as to improving the quality of rented homes and strengthening tenants’ rights.
As part of its remit the board will hear evidence from a range of stakeholders as well as consider the impact of housing provision on Jersey’s physical environment and how it fits with government strategies such as the population policy.
Chief Minister Senator John Le Fondré and Children and Housing Minister Sam Mézec have identified two issues that they wish the board to consider immediately – the issue of foreign investment in property in the island and the impact of the present social housing rents policy.
The board – which will be chaired by the Children and Housing Minister initially – will this month scope out the review’s areas of enquiry. It will then publish its findings and make recommendations throughout 2019 which will be considered within the Island Plan in 2021, the Government Plan or other relevant strategies.
Senator Mézec said: "I am very pleased to see the Housing Policy Development Board being set up. Ministers made a commitment in the Statement of Common Strategic Policy to improve the quality and affordability of housing in Jersey, and the board will be tasked with delivering this important work.
"This includes immediate projects such as looking at the issue of foreign investment properties in the island and letting agent fees, as well as a long-term piece of work to ensure we have a sustainable housing system for future generation of islanders."
Chief Minister John Le Fondré said: "I am glad to see that this board has now been formed. Housing is one of this government’s top priorities as we work to reduce income inequality and to improve standards of living. I welcome this review into the island’s housing market as it is of great importance that we ensure that islanders have access to affordable, quality housing."
Government of Jersey Press Release.