Committee on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Press Notice

Session 2005-06  11 October 2005



The Committee has resolved to carry out an inquiry into affordability and the supply of housing, with particular reference to the following issues:

• The potential benefits of and scope to promote greater homeownership

• The extent to which home purchase tackles social and economic inequalities and reduces poverty

• The economic and social impact of current house prices

• The relationship between house prices and housing supply

• Other factors influencing the affordability of housing for sale including construction methods and fiscal measures

• The scale of the Government’s plans to boost housing supply

• The relative importance of increasing the supply of private housing as opposed to subsidised housing

• How the planning system should respond to the demand  for housing for sale

• The scale of housing development required to influence house prices  and the impact of promoting such a programme on the natural and historical environment and infrastructure provision

• The regional disparities in the supply and demand for housing and how they might be tackled.

The Committee invites written evidence on the points above and other relevant topics by Tuesday 8 November . Witnesses who wish their evidence to be treated in confidence should contact the Committee clerk in advance. It should also be noted that decisions about who to call for oral evidence are likely to be taken on the basis of evidence received by this date. [The form which such evidence should take is set out below - please note in particular the restriction on length and that wherever possible it should be submitted by e-mail or on disk].

Oral evidence sessions will be arranged and will be announced in due course.

Contact: Ben Kochan, Committee Specialist 020 7 219 1342/

Written evidence must if possible be submitted in an electronic format, either on disk or preferably by e-mail. It should be in MS Word or Rich Text format.  If sent by e-mail it should for this inquiry be sent to  The e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from. If sent by post it should be sent to the Clerk, ODPM Committee, Committee Office, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA. Witnesses without access to a computer are respectfully requested to take particular care that submissions are legible.

Submissions should be as brief as possible, and certainly no more than 3,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and it would be helpful to include a brief executive summary. Those submitting evidence are reminded that evidence should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted no public use should be made of it. Guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at

Further details of the Committee, including its current membership, can be found on the Committee's homepage at  Information about the Committee can also be obtained from 020 7219 4972.

Further Housing Inquiries

This is the first in a series of inquiries, which the Committee is setting up into housing issues. There will be two further inquiries.

(a) One will look at the role of shared ownership schemes in meeting demand for homeownership and tackling housing needs. It is expected to look at the scale of the Government’s shared ownership and equity sharing programmes; whether they offer value for money; effectively target appropriate groups, particularly key workers, and make a long term contribution to meeting housing needs and aspirations. 

(b) The other inquiry is expected to consider the priority given by the Government to local authority, social and market rented housing; the funding available, particularly through developer contributions and Housing Benefit, the target groups and affordability.

Detailed terms of reference for both inquiries will be published in due course. Please do not submit evidence in advance.