In a consultation document passed to the government review of the state of Britain's housing supply, the House Builders' Federation says that 55,000 more homes a year need to be built to keep up with demand. Over 20 years that would mean more than half a million additional new homes.
The study by the HBF, which represents construction companies that build 80% of homes in England and Wales, say archaic planning laws coupled with a virulent anti-housing lobby and 'nimbyism' meant too many new developments were being blocked. Planning inquiries could take years and the government's demand for more inexpensive social housing means that many sites are no longer worth developing commercially, the HBF said.
The crisis is affecting the poorest parts of the country. The number of households in England which have been classed as homeless this year is set to top 200,000 for the first time in a decade. The findings come days before the government publishes the Treasury review into the housing market by Bank of England official Kate Barker.