“Success” looks like 1 million new homes

Tonight, BBC One's Inside Out looks at the housing shortage and the desperate need to build more homes. This morning's headlines quote the housing minister Brandon Lewis telling the programme that success for the government on housebuilding would be building 1 million more homes by the end of the Parliament.

One million over five years is both a lot more than what the country is building already, and far less than we need (it should be 1.5m). Private developers think even that target is too high – and their business models tend to prevent them from building so many homes that they become cheaper, God forbid.

It’s obvious that the non-profit and state sector must play a role in meeting the government’s aspirations, let alone reach a sustainable level of building. The trouble for Brandon Lewis is that his government is pursuing an expansion of Right to Buy which really mucks about with both councils’ and housing associations’ ability to build new homes. Over the weekend we heard that a third of councils haven’t built a single home to replace those sold under Right to Buy.

If he wants success, the minister should be giving both sectors all the resources they need to get building. We’ve suggested some ideas in our London manifesto.


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