The Federation says regional planning authorities have failed to ensure the right numbers of private and social homes are built in each region – despite having agreed with government agencies how many homes can realistically be built in each area to meet housing need.
The failure to build enough homes across the country comes at a time when a record 4.5m people are on housing waiting lists, and more than 2.5m people are living in overcrowded conditions.
Over the whole period 2002/3-2008/9, London missed its published target by 32%, delivering 142,180 homes against an overall published target of 210,000.
The North East missed its target by 19%, delivering 47,000 homes against a target of 58,350.
Meanwhile the South West missed its target by 18%, delivering 123,110 homes against a target of 150,823.
The region that came nearest to meeting its target across 2002/3-2008/9 was Yorkshire and Humberside, which built 100,830 homes against a target of 110,100 (missing the target by 8%).
In the single year 2008/9, the North East missed its target by 51%, delivering 4,540 homes against a published target of 9,270.
The East Midlands missed its target by 49%, delivering 11,140 homes against a target of 21,740. Meanwhile, Yorkshire and Humberside missed its target by 48%, building 11,480 homes against a target of 22,260.
The region that came nearest to meeting its target in 2008/9 was the South East, which built 27,830 homes against a target of 32,700 (missing the target by 15%).
Regional targets were introduced by the Government as a way of ensuring that enough homes were built in each region to meet local housing need.
They are drawn up by the regional assemblies – in London by the Mayor – in consultation with local authorities, government housing agencies and regional government offices. The first targets were issued under the regional planning guidance system. However, since 2004, targets have been increasingly set through regional spatial strategies.
Federation chief executive David Orr said: ‘Through identifying housing need at a local level, regional planning authorities and government agencies set out how many homes they think can realistically be delivered to meet housing need in each region.
‘Failure to build the right number of homes across the country, means that thousands of households are needlessly being condemned to the misery of poor and unsuitable housing.
‘The depressing results of our research show that too few homes were being built in every single region even during the boom years, and that urgent action is required to get housebuilding back on track in every single part of the country.’
Mr Orr added: ‘We also need ministers and the opposition parties to commit to protecting the current level of public spending on housing, after the general election, otherwise we will not see the right number of homes being delivered anywhere in the country.
‘If we fail to build the right number of homes now, we will simply store up more problems for the future. Waiting lists will grow, and homelessness and overcrowding will get worse.’
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