UK should be building 300,000 homes a year to tackle housing crisis, according to House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee report

 
Francesca Washtell
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The report from the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee said the government should increase its housebuilding target by 50 per cent (Source: Getty)

Britain needs at least 300,000 new homes a year to fix its housing crisis, according to a House of Lords report published this morning.

The report has called for a building boom, but courted controversy by arguing that the private sector “has neither the ability nor motivation” to satisfy demand. The cross-party Economic Affairs Committee has called for local authorities and housing associations to be “incentivised and enabled” to add to the housing supply.

However, some housing campaigners expressed dismay that strict planning laws did not feature more prominently in the report.

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“The only way we can build 300,000 homes per year is if over 300,000 homes are given planning permission each year. Local councils that control planning policy must listen to younger workers struggling with high rents rather than the NIMBY protesters who seek to block the homes we need,” Duncan Stott, director of PricedOut, told City A.M.

The committee has said local authorities should be given the ability to set planning fees in accordance with local needs and the power to levy council tax on developments that are not completed within a set time.

It also argued local authorities should be allowed to borrow funds to build social housing, which would enable them to “resume their historic role as one of the major builders of new homes”.

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“The reality is that the private home building industry will continue to deliver the vast majority of the country's new homes. Housing policies thus need to create the right conditions for the industry to maintain recent increases in housing completions,” Steve Turner, head of communications at the Home Builders Federation, said.

Neal Hudson, associate director of Savills Residential Research, said: "The private sector will continue to play an important role in delivering new housing but we need to ensure that all possible participants are involved to meet this target.

"That includes housebuilders, self-build, build-to-rent, housing associations, local authorities and others. The planning system will inevitably come under further pressure and so, to successfully meet this target, we need to ensure that a a diverse range of development opportunities are available, particularly in areas where housing affordability is most stretched."

The government has previously said it will build one million homes by 2020.

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