The figures released today by the National Housing Federation make for worrying reading, with home ownership to reach the lowest levels they have been since the 1980s. Whilst some of this is attributable to mortgage availability and life- style change, the crux of the issue is that there just aren't enough homes being built.
If we want to see a more stable housing market, fewer people on social housing waiting lists and prevent an entire generation of young people being priced out of the housing markets; we need to build more affordable homes. It is no surprise that home ownership is at the lowest level since the 1980's, in the year that new home construction is at the lowest levels since the 1920's.
I have written previously about the pivotal role that the Government's National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), will play in allowing a significant increase in home ownership. Whilst I do not endorse growth at any cost, over-riding concerns about sustainability and protected lands, we cannot allow these fears to prevent new homes being built if we are to avoid a housing crisis. The NPPF creates a long- term and effective solution to these twin concerns; promoting growth and local community involvement in planning whilst ensuring that competing considerations on development are addressed.
The housing market crisis predicted by the NHF's report is very real and could be very damaging unless we take action now to create the right environment for an increase in housing construction. The Government is doing its bit with the NPPF and I now call on local authorities, construction companies and the banks to play their part in building affordable homes.