Building more homes

This content applies to England only.

England’s housing is in crisis. We desperately need more homes now.

The ultimate solution to England’s housing crisis is to build more high-quality, affordable homes. Right now, the country is suffering from a huge housing shortage. House building figures have hit record lows.

This isn’t the fault of one particular government – successive administrations, of all parties, have failed to get on top of our housing crisis. Low rates of house building over several decades have not kept up with increasing demand. And vast amounts of social housing, sold off as part of the Right to Buy, reduced the overall supply of affordable housing even further.

This has a real impact on people across the country. As housing costs have risen rapidly large numbers of people have found themselves priced out of buying or even renting a home. This problem is particularly acute for young people and those on low or average incomes, who can’t get a foot on the property ladder or afford rising rents.

That’s why we want to see national and local government prioritise building more homes. And work with housing associations, private developers, investors and local communities to make sure action is taken. We know there are potential barriers, but we believe that these can be overcome and more homes can be built now.

We want the government to:

  • increase investment in new affordable homes and supporting infrastructure
  • deliver on its commitment to building garden cities and new towns
  • provide investment guarantees to housing associations
  • make better use of public land to allow more affordable homes to be built
  • encourage more competition between private developers, and remove incentives for these businesses to hold back development
  • use all of the money raised from Right to Buy sales to invest in new homes locally
  • use the money raised from changes to stamp duty and capital gains tax to help ordinary families get a home
  • make it easier for local councils to build new homes by lifting the artificial borrowing cap placed on them
  • encourage alternative methods of house building (like Community Land Trusts or self-build)
  • make sure that a good proportion of new homes are suitable for families, for older people and for other groups in housing need
  • invest enough money in a new form of shared-ownership-style homes to help 600,000 families get on the ladder.

Find out more about how Shelter thinks we should build more homes.

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