Residential construction sector, modern methods of construction, and the steps being taken to boost the housing supply, House of Lords, 24 April 2019

Councils once again have a key role in delivering more affordable housing and helping to build 300,000 new homes a year.


KEY MESSAGES

  • The last time we built at least 250,000 homes a year in 1979, councils delivered more than 40 per cent of them. Councils once again have a key role in delivering more affordable housing and helping to build 300,000 new homes a year.
  • The Government has accepted our long-standing call to scrap the housing borrowing cap, which is good news. Official estimates are that this will lead up to 10,000 new homes a year. This is a significant contribution to the estimated 100,000 social homes a year needed.
  • Councils want to encourage home ownership, without a corresponding decline in the number of social rented homes. It is essential that the Government enables councils to keep 100 per cent of receipts from Right to Buy (RTB) sales to invest in new affordable housing.
  • The safety and quality of homes must be a key factor in solving our housing crisis. Modern methods of construction will be important in delivering more sustainable homes at scale. The Government should encourage the housebuilding industry to invest in the change needed to deliver innovation in construction techniques.
  • Planning is not a barrier to building. Councils are approving nine in ten planning applications and last year worked with developers to permission over 350,000 homes, an 11-year high. Housebuilders currently have 423,000 homes with permission that they are still to build.
  • Councils face an overall funding gap of £3 billion in 2019/20, which we estimate will rise to £8 billion by 2024/25. It is vital that the Government uses the 2019 Spending Review to deliver truly sustainable funding for local government.

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