Government housing plans lack ambition

The Public Accounts Committee has claimed that the government is dependent on a ‘broken’ market, and lacks ambition in addressing current housing needs.

With the number of homes built in England lagging behind demand for housing for decades, the PAC report says that homelessness problems and affordability are likely to persist for years.

At present, the number of families living in temporary accommodation has risen from 50,000 in 2011–12 to 72,000 in 2015–16, with almost 120,000 children in England live in temporary accommodation.

The report argues that the Department for Communities and Local Government remains dependent on the existing market of dominating private developers, and will not meet the actual level of housing need.

Graham Biggs, chief executive of the Rural Services Network (RSN), said of the report: “Affordability is a real problem for people living and working in the countryside because wages are often low and house prices are high. Rural families frequently find themselves priced out of their local housing market – a situation which often forces them to move away from the communities in which they live and work.

“A solution to the rural housing crisis must be found – and a meaningful increase in delivery of affordable housing in rural villages and small towns secured – if we are to have a sustainable future for our rural communities.”