How Does Britain Build Enough Homes to Meet Demand?

Oct 3, 2016

Time & Date

Tuesday 4th October 2016

18.00 – Start
19.00 – End

Venue 

Conservative Party Conference
Policy Exchange Marquee (ENT 1)
The ICC
Cambridge Street,
Birmingham, B1 2NP

Speakers:
Gavin Barwell MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning
Richard Blakeway, former Deputy Mayor of London for Housing, Land and Property
David Montague, CEO, L&Q
David Thomas, CEO, Barratt Developments PLC

Chair:
Kate Allen, Financial Times

Although the Government has made good progress in recent years to increase house building levels, we are still not building enough homes to meet demand. This has contributed to soaring house prices and rents. As a statement of its intent to tackle the housing shortage and stem rising prices and rents, the Government announced its ambition to build 1 million homes in England by 2020.

As part of meeting that ambition, the Spending Review set out proposals to build 200,000 Starter Homes and 135,000 shared ownership homes over five years, backed by £7bn of Government money. The Government’s flagship Help to Buy (Equity Loan) scheme has already supported the construction of around 80,000 homes (as well as the same number households into homeownership) and was recently extended to 2021. The extension of the Right to Buy to housing associations and reinvestment of sale proceeds to build new homes will also make a significant contribution.

Many believe that the recent planning reforms in England – the National Planning Policy Framework (2012) – will take us a long way to releasing sufficient land through the planning system for the housing we need, although the reforms will take time to make an impact. The Government also deregulated housing associations in the Housing and Planning Act (2016) which should free them up to build more.

But we are starting from a very low base. In 2010 we built the fewest homes since the 1920s and last year only 150,000 were built, about half the number required to meet our growing population and changing demographic of more people living singularly. To build 1 million by 2020 requires on average 200,000 homes a year from 2016-20 inclusive.

And are serious challenges ahead. Housebuilding is highly cyclical and the spectre of a recession as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the EU has cast further doubt whether the 1 million aspiration can be met.

This session will consider whether the Government is doing enough and what more can be done to ensure we build enough homes to meet demand.

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