We have a situation where the plan is for 52,000 plus houses to be built between 2010 and 2030, with the likelihood that the target will be pushed up to 60,000.
Yet the evidence is that the maximum needed over that period is 27,000. A more reasonable figure would be around 5,000.
If we decide on the mid-point we get 16,000.
So why is the target so much higher and being raised?
Probably a belief that somehow building houses and bumping up the population will jump-start the economy. It hasn’t in the past and wont in the future.
Now some readers will ask about affordability, people on the waiting list.
There are in fact two elements to housing policy, one is the provision of houses, the other lies outside house building altogether.
With regard to building we need to change the planning system to stop and then reduce the number of properties used for holiday homes and lets.
The other element is a combination of reforming the private rental market so that rents are controlled and people have more security of tenure, improving the disposable income of those on low incomes and reforming the benefit system.
Building more houses is NOT the answer!