Housing is in crisis. The National Housing Federation estimated 974,000 homes were needed between 2011 and 2014 but less than half of this number were built. Howard Chapman finds out more…
Besides creating misery for those wanting to buy their own home, it is also affecting the economy. The recent CBI/CBRE London Business Survey showed that nearly two thirds (59%) of the capital’s firms said building more quality and affordable housing was vital. Over half of firms (57%) cited housing costs and availability as negatively affecting their ability to recruit entry level staff.
Now, the Government are promising to build million homes built in England by 2020 but they failed woefully to reach their own targets during the Coalition years. Housing minister Brandon Lewis says this time it will be different but many organisations are sceptical.
The scale of the housing crisis is revealed in a BBC Inside Out investigation – revealing that 245,000 new homes were needed each year in England.
Gill Payne, director of policy and external affairs at the National Housing Federation said: “We haven’t built enough homes in this country for decades, and if the gap between the number of households forming and the number of new homes being built continues to grow, we are in danger of not being able to house our children.”
Some blamed planning procedures that are too slow, regulations restricting housing associations, shortage of skilled labour, developers sitting on large tracts of empty land instead of building on it, and a big drop in the number of councils building new homes.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England estimates there are enough brownfield areas to accommodate 1.8 million homes. Academics from the University of Nottingham believe homes of the future will be a mixture of vertical village skyscrapers and flat pack houses which will be highly energy efficient.
But will this really create the volume building on the scale required?
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