Conservatives vow to deliver 1.5 million homes by 2022

Ryan Bembridge

May 18, 2017

The Conservative Party has pledged to deliver the million homes it promised by 2020 and build 500,000 more in the two years after.

The Tories promised to deliver one million homes by 2020 in England prior to the 2015 General Election.

The manifesto reads: “We will meet our 2015 commitment to deliver a million homes by the end of 2020 and we will deliver half a million more by the end of 2022.”

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There was speculation that target was abandoned this year but Steve Turner, director of communications at homebuilding trade association the Home Builders Federation, reckoned that target can be met.

He said: “We are on course to deliver one million homes between 2015 and 2020 but to meet the ambitious new target to build 250,000 new homes a year after 2020 will require fresh thinking and many more providers.

“Housing supply has increased by over 50% in the past three years but going even further will require tweaks to the planning system and other measures to sustain these increases.

“While councils and housing associations have a big role to play, I am pleased to see the emphasis, both in the White Paper and the manifesto, on creating conditions for more small developers to start-up and thrive, along with specialist providers such as builders of homes designed for older people.”

In factoring new housing the government counts newly constructed homes, new builds, change of use and demolitions – not just newly built homes.

There were 189,650 additions to the housing stock in 2015-16, including 164,000 newly-built properties.

And according to the National Audit Office 174,000 is required per year to meet the one million target.

The manifesto said building shouldn’t be just located in the South East and 160,000 will be on government land.

It also noted that the numbers required will never be achieved without the participation of social housing providers.

In another major manifesto pledge the Conservatives promised to build ‘fixed term social houses’ which will be sold privately after 10-15 years with an automatic Right to Buy for tenants.

It said the proceeds will be spent on more homes but failed to specify whether it will be like-for-like and when.

The Tories said new homes should be as high quality as those from the previous generations, meaning there should be more mansion blocks, mews houses and terraced streets.

The manifesto also echoed many of the policies set out in February’s Housing White Paper: More support for modern methods of construction, more powers for councils to intervene where developers do not act on planning permission and a diversification of housebuilders to break up the oligopoly.

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