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Theresa May pledges faster homebuilding as supply again falls short

  • 16/11/2017
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Theresa May pledges faster homebuilding as supply again falls short
Prime Minister Theresa May has said its her personal mission to create more homes faster, as annual housebuilding increases but remains below pre-crisis levels.

Britain gained 217,350 homes last year, up 15% from the previous year but still below pre-2007 levels, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

It is estimated a minimum of 250,000 new homes a year are needed to keep up with demand.

There were 183,570 new homes built in 2016-27, with numbers largely boosted by change in property use from residential and conversions.

John Healey MP, Labour’s shadow secretary of state for housing, said: “These figures confirm that new housebuilding still hasn’t returned to the level it was before the global financial crisis, a decade on.

“Any increase in new housing is welcome but in any other area of public policy this record of failure would be cause for resignation, not celebration.”


More homes needed

The Prime Minister today pledged to build more homes.

May said: “The number of new homes being delivered each year has been increasing since 2010, but there is more we can do.

“We must get back into the business of building the good quality new homes for people who need them most.

“That is why I have made it my mission to build the homes the country needs and take personal charge of the Government’s response.

“Today I am seeing the work now underway to put this right and, in coming weeks and months, my Government will be going further to ensure that we build more homes, more quickly.

“This will be a long journey and it will take time for us to fix the broken housing market – but I am determined to build a Britain fit for the future.”


Social housing focus

It has been announced that housing associations will be reclassified from being public bodies to private bodies.

David Orr, chief executive at the National Housing Federation, said: “We strongly support the ONS’ decision today, endorsed by the Secretary of State, to reclassify housing associations as private bodies.

“This is welcome recognition of their position as independent social businesses with a shared social purpose of building a quality home that everyone can afford.”

In a speech later today, Communities secretary Savid Javid will say: “Without affordable, secure, safe housing we risk creating a rootless generation, drifting from one short-term tenancy to the next, never staying long enough to play a role in their community.”

Labour’s Healey added: “After seven years of failure on housing, Ministers still have no plan to fix the housing crisis.

“The Government must now back Labour’s plan to build 100,000 new genuinely affordable homes a year, help first-time buyers and give renters new consumer rights including control on rents.”

The Government issued a housing white paper earlier this year, which set out plans to make councils release more land for housing and push developers to build homes once they have planning permission.

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