Housing shortfall grows to 1 million – HBF

Source: www.house-builder.co.uk

The housing shortfall in England has hit 1 million, the Home Builders Federation said today (March 25).

Ten years on from the Barker Review of Housing Supply, in which its author Kate Barker - writing for the then Labour government – warned that at least 210,000 private homes a year were needed in England to stem a growing housing crisis, only 115,000 homes have been delivered, HBF said.

The shortfall is the now the equivalent of the number of homes in Birmingham and the surrounding areas.

The Federation has produced a report – Barker review: a decade on – which estimates that achieving Barker's "most ambitious objective of improving the housing market" would now require 320,000 private sector starts a year, a level only reached in four years since World War II.

HBF used its policy conference held today in London to ask all political parties as the election looms to commit to the Help to Buy equity loan scheme which is helping to drive the recovery.

It also wants policy makers to ensure that planning policies continue to develop so that enough land comes forward for the number of homes needed, and to make sure that the regulatory environment is realistic and does not render housing sites unviable.

Speaking at HBF's policy conference, HBF's executive chairman Stewart Baseley 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.

"As we approach a general election, we now need to see all parties committing to policies that lead to a sustained increase in housebuilding."

Kate Barker also spoke this morning at the policy conference, revisiting her report and assessing progress, or otherwise, with housing supply.