Objective Assessment of Housing Need

Liberal Vannin welcomes the recent publication of the Objective Assessment of Housing Need (OAHN).

However, we feel that the headline comment of almost 10,000 homes being required over the next 15 years, in order to meet the population growth targets in the government’s Island Plan does  not reflect the actual need to address the current housing crisis.

In April, Liberal Vannin made a submission (see at the end, below) for consideration by Tynwald’s Youth Select Committee who are investigating the housing needs of young people on the Island. In it we made reference to what was then the imminent publication of the OAHN:

Support the building of more homes of all types by the private sector, in line with the forecasts that are set out in the Objective Assessment of Housing Need (OAHN) that is due to be published shortly. This should be a factor in the development of the Island Strategic Plan.

Housebuilding targets should be included in the Island Plan, aligned to the OAHN. These targets should include housing for all ages, such as sheltered, extra care, nursing care as well as first time buyers – these targets should be flexible to respond effectively to market needs, ensuring the housing being built is the housing people want to buy.

We believe that the government should immediately set a target of around 200 “affordable homes“ to be built each year from 2025 to 2030, with the impact reviewed at the end of the next administration. At least 100 of these homes should be made available each year to rent as social housing with the rest for purchase through government mortgage schemes, with restrictive covenants on those for sale, to ensure that they don’t become available for investors in the buy-to-let market. The priority should be development on brownfield sites.

Tackling the housing needs of our current residents (particularly those under 30) who are struggling to find homes to rent or purchase at affordable prices, should be an immediate priority for government. It was one of the major issues at the last general election and has not gone away.