Last week, the Government shared details of its much-anticipated Levelling Up White Paper, which sets out a plan to transform the UK’s economic geography by spreading opportunity and prosperity more equally.

The Government is trying to address the fact that whilst the UK is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, it also has a high level of regional inequality compared to other wealthy countries. That means that not everyone in the UK has the same life chances.

Statistics tell us that these inequalities affect individual’s life chances in many different ways, from academic attainment to lifetime earnings, from life satisfaction to life expectancy. Troublingly, men and women in some regions of the UK can expect 12 fewer years of healthy life, on average, than those who live in the in the best-performing regions.

With its Levelling Up White Paper, the Government has set out 12 key policy missions, which it says will help to address these inequalities – and more – by 2030. The missions include plans to increase public investment in areas outside of the South East, increase investment in primary years education, and to improve public transport.

Plans to reform housing policy also figured highly in the paper, with proposals to balance out the geographic allocation of public funds to social housing, which have historically disproportionately been funnelled to London and the South East.

The White Paper also earmarked plans for a major overhaul of the private rented sector, which will help to drive up standards and make renting fairer. Increased regulation will better safeguard tenants, and no-fault evictions will be all but scrapped.

We welcome the Government’s acknowledgement that housing is critical to its plans. We believe that everyone should have access to a safe, secure, suitable home: it is the critical foundation for better health, better education, better jobs, and all the associated benefits – including better life satisfaction and life expectancy – that follow.