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Stimulating housing supply - Government initiatives

Published Tuesday, December 9, 2014

This note summarises measures taken by the Government to increase housing supply.

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This note summarises measures taken by the Government to increase housing supply.

The long-term failure of successive Governments to build enough housing to meet growing need is widely accepted. The 2008-based household projections for England forecast an average annual increment of 232,000 households up to 2033. This exceeds the number of homes added to the dwelling stock in recent years by a considerable margin – in the year ending March 2014 provisional figures indicate that 112,630 dwellings were completed in England representing an increase on the previous year’s 107,820 but still well below what is needed. Interim household projections for 2011 to 2021 (based on the 2011 Census) indicate that the number of households grew more slowly than anticipated by the 2008 projections – this is likely to be a reflection of the severity and extent of the post-2008 economic downturn. The 2008-based projections are still regarded as a solid indicator of potential levels of housing demand over coming years. Another Library note, Housing demand and need (England), provides more detailed analysis of the level of housing need/demand and the drivers behind it.

The Government has not set targets for increasing housing supply while the Labour Party has committed to building 200,000 homes a year by 2020. Reviews into housing supply include Government commissioned work led by Natalie Elphicke into the role that local authorities could play in increasing the supply of housing. The Labour Party commissioned Sir Michael Lyons to conduct a housing review tasked with drawing up “a road map that will set out the changes to housing and planning policies and practice that are required to deliver the new homes and communities we need.” The Lyons Housing Review was published in October 2014.

Much of the government’s efforts to stimulate house-building have focused on planning measures – for information on these aspects see Library notes Planning for Housing (SN/SC/3741) and Planning Reform Proposals (SN/SC/6418). There is also a Library note on Garden Cities (SNSC6867). Questions on planning measures should be directed to Louise Smith of the Science and Environment Section.

Commons Briefing papers SN06416

Author: Wendy Wilson

Topics: Housing, Housing supply

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