Queen’s Speech 2021 – key housing announcements

12 May 2021

The Queen has outlined the government’s priorities and commitments for the coming year in her speech to Parliament, including:

  • Building Safety Bill.
  • Planning Bill.
  • Social Housing White Paper.

We welcome the government’s commitment to putting housing high up the political agenda for the next parliamentary session and we will await further details of the bills once they are debated in the coming months.

Here is a summary of the key measures announced and our next steps.

What do the announcements mean for housing?

Sarauniya Shehu, Public Affairs Officer at the NHF, explains what the annoucements in the Queen's Speech mean for housing associations.

Read the blog

Key announcements

  • The government will bring forward the Building Safety Bill, which will provide a new regulatory landscape for the safety of buildings. We continue to engage with MPs from all parties as the Bill progresses. The government is yet to publish the pre-legislative scrutiny of the Bill. 
  • The Planning Bill focuses on the speed of housebuilding and looks to significantly reduce the time it takes for developments to go through the planning system by setting out a new framework for how land is categorised. The Bill, however, proposes to end Section 106 agreements, which require private developers to build a certain amount of social homes in every new development. We want to work with the government to ensure any new policy does not lead to a reduction in new social homes.
  • While the government did not commit to legislation to enact the proposals of the Social Housing White Paper, it did outline some areas which will be taken forward, including the Charter for Social Housing Residents. We welcome the implementation of this and will work with the government and housing associations to deliver it. We hope to see the full legislation implemented soon.
  • Plans for leasehold reform were confirmed as part of the speech with the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill. The Bill will restrict the charging of ground rents on new long residential leases.
  • As part of its vision for an economic recovery, the government referenced previous spending commitments on housing, including the new Affordable Homes Programme and measures taken to support home ownership.
  • The government updated the work it plans to do on renters’ reform. There is no legislation in place, but it will set out a White Paper, with legislation to follow, in the Autumn.

Next steps 

The NHF will continue to engage with the government over their proposals set out in the Queen’s Speech and we will publish a more detailed briefing soon.