Michael Gove (pictured), the secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, told his department’s select committee yesterday that while housebuilding had hit record highs before the pandemic, a “number of economic headwinds” had made it more difficult to produce the 300,000 new homes that the government had targeted.
However, he argued that the target remained in place and that the government will do everything it can to meet it, despite the factors which will “make it more difficult” to achieve.
Recent analysis by Unlatch found that the government missed its target by 40 per cent in 2021.
Gove also confessed that the government has not yet worked out how it is going to fund its new Right to Buy scheme.
The initiative was announced last week, with the aim of allowing housing association tenants to purchase their homes at discounted rates, depending on the length of their tenancy.
However, Gove admitted that he was not yet in a position to explain how it would be funded, other than that it would not come from his department’s existing budget.
He said: “By definition we better crack on, because we can’t necessarily have the conversations with housing associations we’d like without having a great degree of assurance of funding. That’s entirely understandable on their part.”