Government to miss new homes target by over 250,000

Aaron Morby 8 years ago

Pressure is mounting on the Government to deliver an effective house building stimulus as latest figures show it will miss its new housing targets by more than 250,000 homes.

Government is understood to be aiming to launch a post-Brexit home building fund in the Autumn statement
Government is understood to be aiming to launch a post-Brexit home building fund in the Autumn statement

The Government pledged to deliver 1m new homes by 2020 before the last election. But latest housing figures out today show at present rates it will fall well short of the target.

Latest housing figures out show the number of housing starts grew by 6%  in the three months just before the Brexit vote.

Builders started work on more than 36,000 homes in the three months to June in England. This was 2% up on the previous three months and 6% ahead of a year ago, but still way below the level experts say is needed to tackle the housing crisis.

Furthermore it was only private housing starts that grew – 4% up on the previous quarter – with housing association starts down 6% over the period.

Annual housing starts totalled 144,280 in the year to June 2016, up by just 2% despite a raft of initiatives to stimulate demand.

Sarah McMonagle, director of external affairs at the Federation of Master Builders, said: “There’s a compelling case for turbo-charging the SME house building sector, which policy makers have started to recognise is key to reaching the levels of house building that we need.

“It’s still too early to tell what effect the decision to Brexit will have but it stands to reason that any wobbles in the house building industry will inevitably have a profound effect on our ability to hit that target. It’s therefore essential that the Government is aware of the risks and does everything in its power to mitigate those risks.”

She added: “We’re calling on Ministers to lift the borrowing on local authorities and allow councils to be significant house builders once more. This will help calm any confidence wobbles among private developers and put the house building industry back on track, helping us reach that target of one million homes.”

The Government is said to be drawing up plans to for a housing package with new money that will that will release billions of pounds to residential developers.

The government first pledge to launch a £3bn Home Building Fund back in May, under new plans it is understood this could rise to £5bn, with the Government taking on more risk than ever before.

The loan fund, administered through the Homes and Communities Agency, could be used on large scheme but is also being targeted medium to small builders and firms proposing modular housing schemes.



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