Michael Gove has said current levels of migration were putting pressure on housing, after last week’s figures showed a huge spike in people coming to this country.
The veteran Tory politician and secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities who previously ran for leadership positions admitted the government hadn’t built enough homes ‘for generations’.
This comes after net migration to the UK reached 672,000 people, while Rishi Sunak’s government lost a landmark battle with the Supreme Court over the Rwanda policy.
More than one million people arrived in the UK over the past year, as the government continues to face political pressure to reduce numbers of arrivals.
Asked if the UK did not have the number of homes to match the demand from immigrants, the Housing Secretary told Times Radio: “Yes, in fact I think actually the situation is – if anything – worse than you depict.
“It is the case that the migratory flows put more pressure on housing, but we haven’t built enough homes overall for generations.
“This Government is going to hit its target of a million new homes in this Parliament, but we do need to go further. And earlier this year, I outlined a long-term plan for housing, which will allow us to build more homes, particularly making effective use of brownfield land.”
With record net migration of 745,000 in 2022, the Government would need to massively increase housebuilding and significantly reduce immigration to meet the challenge, he said.
“I think we need to do both. I think it’s important when we’re looking at the migration figures to recognise that some of these figures are students, some of these figures are Ukrainian refugees, some of them are British nationals from Hong Kong.
“But you are right, we do need to bring migration down. And you’re also correct, we do need to build more homes.”