HA: Chancellor should use budget to deliver 245,000 new homes a year
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Development, Housing
A housing association has urged Chancellor George Osborne to use the forthcoming budget to boost housebuilding by an extra 245,000 units a year.
Home Group, the 5th largest affordable homes developer in the UK, says the government needs to send a message that it is committed to providing ‘homes for all’ when it sets out its spending agenda for the next 12 months.
Such a commitment would require it to boost housing supply to nearly a quarter of a million new homes each year, according to independent analysis which takes into account the latest projection of new household formations published by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
And while Home Group has welcomed Osborne's proposals for a new garden city at Ebbsfleet, the additional 15,000 homes it will bring won’t be enough to keep up with demand, the social landlord says.
According to Home Group, achieving the necessary upsurge in housing will require a much more strategic approach to UK-wide delivery.
If supply at scale is to be achieved, the housing provider says that housing zones must be developed across the country, to include a greater emphasis on simplified planning processes and delivered by joint venture partnerships, and a housing investment bank should be created.
Home Group’s budget submission outlines the "urgent need for better use of public sector land assets", arguing that all surplus land within designated housing zone areas such be considered to be part of a housing zone.
In addition, the government should designate a high level national allocation of housing need to enable local authorities and/or consortiums of social housing and private developers within designated areas to bid to establish housing zones, Home Group says.
Mark Henderson, Home Group's chief executive, said: “The Government has focused its efforts on support individuals to get on to the housing ladder with some success. It now needs to demonstrate its intent to deliver affordable homes for all, irrespective of ownership.
“The coalition partners have the opportunity to write their names in the record books by delivering the largest house building programme in UK history. Our Budget submission sets out the strategies required to deliver on a scale to meet the number of new families formed each year and to clear the waiting list backlog.”