“Familiar suspects at any housing-related line-up, are measures to get more people buying, building and occupying homes. The real challenge, however, is to secure cross-party support for market interventions which ensure these make a meaningful contribution. Until then Government targets will be tombstones to our failures, rather than foundations of success.
“A week after Theresa May promised to take “personal charge” of the housing crisis, the Budget has cemented the Government’s commitment to delivering 300,000 new homes per year. In doing so, The Chancellor has commuted amongst other measures, £44 billion of funding and loans to support the delivery of new homes. Such promises make great sound bites but realising them is undoubtably a challenge.
“The recent history of housing in England is ‘writ large’ in the back-catalogue of ministerial statement. It’s important not to forget that the Chancellor’s promise comes little more than two years after David Cameron pledged a ‘national crusade’ to get homes built, promising delivery of 20,000 starter-homes per year.
“The fact of the matter is that house-building has been declining since the 1970’s and, at the same time, homes have become decreasingly affordable. This, quite logically, has an impact upon who can afford to buy them and where. The result is a spatial problem of affordability, the symptoms of which are those of inequality and which are particularly acute in London and the South East of England; therefore putting the spotlight on permissions granted versus houses actually built with this promised review should make everything more transparent.”