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England one million homes short

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Development

Housebuilding Housebuilding

England is now one million homes short of the number needed to sufficiently house its population, the Home Builders Federation has revealed.

Exactly 10 years after the Barker Review of the country's housing supply warned that at least 210,000 extra private homes were needed a year to avoid a housing crisis, and with an average of only 115,000 homes built each year since, the HBF has warned that England urgently needs to build one million properties.

The country's shortfall is now equivalent to the number of homes in Birmingham and the surrounding areas.

Based on Kate Barker’s original estimates and population changes since then, a new report from the HBF estimates that:

Achieving Barker’s objective of "reducing the long-term trend" and gradually pricing households back into the market will now require 260,000 private housing starts.

Achieving Barker’s most ambitious objective of "improving the housing market" will require 320,000 private sector starts per year – three times the number completed last year and a figure achieved in only four years since World War II.

Even achieving the least ambitious of Barker’s three objectives, to slow down the rate at which households are priced out of the market, would require more than 200,000 private starts per year – a figure last achieved in 1973.

According to the HBF, delivering one million additional homes over the next 10 years could more than halve the social housing waiting list and sustain an additional 350,000 jobs a year.

Stewart Baseley, HBF executive chairman, said: “The Barker Review was a seminal report for housing and starkly illustrated the scale of the emerging crisis. Since then successive governments have failed to pay heed and develop policies to deliver the homes the country needs.

“Whilst the help to buy equity loan scheme is finally starting to drive demand and significantly increase supply, we start from a very low base and the shortfall is huge.

“As we approach a general election, we now need to see all parties committing to policies that lead to a sustained increase in housebuilding. We have to build our way out of the crisis. Building the homes the country needs will provide the decent homes people deserve and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.”

Kate Barker added: "The continued shortfall in housing supply matters most to those who lose out in the battle for dwelling space. At the moment the cost is falling heavily on many families in the private rented sector. It is vital to raise the rate of new supply - but also to develop coherent policies to address the consequences of the supply shortfall."

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