Pressure rises to tackle housing crisis in Budget

Aaron Morby 13 years ago

Pressure is mounting on the coalition Government to sweep in a raft of measures to stimulate house building in next week’s Budget.

A new report from the Institute of Public Policy Research has warned England faces a shortfall of 750,000 homes by 2025, even if house building rates returned to the historic average.

And business bosses at the CBI is also due to call tomorrow for the Government to stimulate housing in its eagerly anticipated Budget for growth.

Labour has also called on Chancellor George Osborne to repeat last year’s £2bn bank bonus tax to support jobs and growth.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said: “The government could use £1.2bn of this cash to help build 25,000 new homes which would create more than 20,000 jobs and several times more in the supply chain.”

It could also create 1,500 new construction apprenticeships.

Using the government’s own projections for household growth and assuming housing supply recovers to the 20-year average of 160,000 new homes a year, England will still have 750,000 fewer homes than it needs, according to the ippr research.

That’s equivalent to the entire housing demand of Birmingham, Liverpool and Newcastle.

Researchers estimate that annual build rates must skyrocket to more than 280,000 homes a year to meet demand. But last year the industry managed to build just 102,830 new homes.

Worst supply and demand mismatches will be in London, the South East, East of England and Yorkshire and Humberside.

In these regions demand is projected to be substantially higher than net additions to the housing stock in recent years.

In fact, the North West of England is the only region where supply could meet demand, with 40,000 extra homes compared to the number of households, due to the high rate of unoccupied premises at present.

    Mind the gap

    • London faces a housing gap of 325,000 homes
    • Yorkshire and Humberside faces a housing gap of 151,000 homes
    • East of England faces a housing gap of 132,000 homes
    • South East of England faces a housing gap of 77,000 homes
    • East Midlands faces a housing gap of 66,000 homes
    • West Midlands faces a housing gap of 28,000 homes
    • North East of England faces a housing gap of 16,000 homes
    • South West of England faces a housing gap of 7,000 homes.

The report shows that the social housing sector in particular will be under extreme pressure, no matter how the economy performs in future.

If the economy performs poorly, up to 1.2m households will priced out of the private sector and will need social housing.

Even under good economic circumstances, an additional 550,000 households will need social housing by 2025.

The report warns that without a new housing policy, this demand will not be met.

There are currently around 4.5m people waiting for social housing -1.8m households, equivalent to 8 % of all English households.

Last year’s Spending Review saw the housing budget cut from £8.4bn over the previous three-year period to £4.4bn over the next four years.

Nick Pearce, ippr director said: “We can’t go on as we have done. Britain needs to build more homes.

“That’s not going to happen without a fundamental review of housing policy. This new analysis shows the serious scale of the problem.

He added: “If the rate of house building doesn’t radically increase, we face a growing housing crisis. Whether the economy performs well or poorly, a serious gap looms between housing supply and demand.

“Our ageing population and rising expectations for living standards are going to drive up demand but if there’s no change in housing policy it will seriously hold back supply.”

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