We are heading in the wrong direction on housing delivery

Paul Smith CROP

Working out how many homes we will need is tricky, but one thing’s for sure we are not going to build anywhere near enough under current policy, warns Paul Smith

While housing numbers have been a regular feature in the news lately, the discussion has focused on how many homes Local Authorities should be expected to plan for. Next to no attention has been paid to a much more important question – how many homes does England actually need?

One figure often cited is 160,000 homes per year – the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) projected annual increase in households over the next decade. This is much lower than the 210,000 homes per year it was projecting as recently as 2014 – the figure on which the government’s standard method is based. As a result, anti-development campaigners often use the ONS figures to claim we are already building far too many homes.

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