Housing finance expert and MP for Dover crosses the Commons floor

Natalie Elphicke has cited the government’s failure to hit its 300,000 homes a year target as a key reason for her high-profile decision to defect to Labour.

The MP for Dover and housing finance expert this week made headlines for defecting to the opposition party, although she is not intending to stand in the forthcoming general election.

Natalie Elphicke MP

Natalie Elphicke is well-known in housing finance policy circles

In her statement she said: “On housing, Rishi Sunak’s Government is now failing to build the homes we need. Last year saw the largest fall of new housing starts in England in a single year since the credit crunch.

“The manifesto committed to 300,000 homes next year - but only around half that number are now set to be built.”

Housing Today’s, through its A Fair Deal for Housing campaign, is also calling on the government to re-commit to its 300,000 homes a year pledge. The campaign earlier this year published initial recommendations for increasing housing delivery including overhauling affordable housing funding and changes to the planning system.

Elphicke also said renters and leaseholders have been “betrayed as manifesto pledges to end no-fault evictions and abolish ground rents have not been delivered as promised.”

Elphicke is well-known in housing circles as the co-author of the 2015 Elphicke-House report, which looked at how councils can help boost housing delivery. She also founded industry group the Housing Finance Institute, which seeks to unlock barriers to housing delivery.

She also said the Conservative government is “failing to keep our borders safe and secure.” The defection has proved controversial with Labour MPs.