The Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick announced plans yesterday to restart and reopen the housing market. People may now move home, estate agents’ offices can reopen, viewings can take place, show-homes can open and removal companies and other essential parts of the sales and lettings process are restarted with immediate effect.
It is important to understand that although we are now free to move home, the practices and procedures involved will be different. Detailed guidance has been published by the government to ensure that the virus is controlled and the public is protected.
To restart the supply of housing, the government has also extended the working hours on construction sites and has introduced a series of temporary measures to make it easier to operate the planning system. It has also allowed local councils to defer Community Infrastructure Levy Payments to help smaller developers manage cashflow during the outbreak.
To protect the home builders, a “Safe Working Charter” drawn up by the Government and the Home Builders Federations has also been launched. It compliments detailed guidance available from the Construction Leadership Council on reducing the risk of infection on sites.
Mr Jenrick commented:
“Our step by step plan is based on the latest guidance to ensure the safety and protection of everyone involved. This critical industry can now safely move forward, and those waiting patiently to move can now do so.”