Lords debates unmet housing need

07 June 2013

Members of the Lords debated current levels of unmet housing need yesterday (Thursday 6 June 2013)

Lord Dubs (Labour) opened the debate, welcoming the chance to consider a range of housing issues. On current levels of demand, he spoke of ‘more than 1.8 million households on waiting lists in England,’ and stressed this situation, combined with ‘an annual need of 240,000 new homes to meet current and future demands,’ called for action: ‘We have to build more homes... the lack of housing construction is holding the whole economy back.’

Lord Tope (Liberal Democrat), drew on his experience as a London councillor and focused on ‘the need to remove, or at least raise, the borrowing cap to allow local authorities to increase investment in new homes.’ Ahead of the comprehensive spending review announcements due later this month, he insisted that ‘the lifting of this cap would do more than any other single measure to demonstrate the coalition government’s strong commitment to tackling the housing crisis.’

Baroness Hanham (Conservative), spoke on behalf of the government. Addressing the ‘long, historical problem’ of meeting housing needs, she acknowledged that ‘housing is inextricably linked to the wider health of the country.’

She outlined current policy initiatives, including the Help to Buy equity loan scheme and the Build to Rent fund, and confirmed the government is ‘committed to tackling the long-standing gap between housing supply and demand and addressing market failures where intervention is needed.’  

Further information

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