Minister conducting a ‘rapid review’ of the housing crisis

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A ‘RAPID review’ of the Island’s housing situation is being undertaken before a new ‘vision’ is put forward to tackle the situation, the new Minister in charge of the portfolio has said.

Deputy David Warr, who was appointed Housing Minister earlier this month, said that in his first few weeks he was getting to grips with the ‘range and complexity of the housing challenges we face’ while supporting the ‘good work’ already under way.

Responding to a written States question from Reform Jersey leader Deputy Sam Mézec on whether he would implement elements of the party’s Housing Crisis Plan, Deputy Warr said that it would be ‘inappropriate’ to comment on specific proposals while he was ‘still gathering evidence’.

Deputy David Warr

Ahead of June’s general election, part of Reform Jersey’s manifesto contained a plan to tackle the housing crisis which included the introduction of a landlord licensing scheme, an empty-property tax and a ban on inflationary rent increases.

Deputy Warr confirmed he had read the party’s plan and said: ‘I am reading many reports on housing issues and meeting a wide range of people who have an interest in housing – charities, developers, social-housing providers, private landlords and many others.

‘I am also discussing issues with my ministerial colleagues, as we must consider the impact of housing initiatives on the environment, on the provision of other public amenities and as an important part of the overall economy.

‘This will be a rapid review and, when it is completed, I will be setting out my own vision for the work that I will lead to improve the housing situation for Islanders.’

The latest House Price Index placed the average cost of a house in the Island at £660,000 for the first quarter of 2022.

Advertised rental prices were also 12% higher than during the first quarter of 2021, with many one-bed properties now costing around £1,300 a month.

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