Report: Building the homes we need

By: KPMG and Shelter
Published: April 2014

Building the homes we need: a programme for the 2015 government

Everyone now accepts that we have a desperate housing shortage in England. 

Each year we build at least 100,000 fewer homes than we need, adding to a shortage that has been growing for decades. What’s more our current house building system seems incapable of delivering growth on the scale required. Growing demand means that without a step change in supply we will be locked into a spiral of increasing house prices and rents – making the current housing crisis worse.

KPMG and Shelter have put together a comprehensive, visionary programme for the next government to get the country building the homes it needs. Taking steps to lower the cost of land for development will reduce the profits made by some land owners, but allow better homes to be built and stimulate a new wave of SME builders who have been squeezed out of the market. Increasing investment to build genuinely affordable homes will mean tough fiscal choices, but reducing the cost of housing will also cut the welfare bill. Introducing new taxes on unused housing land and empty homes will be unpopular with some, but it will get development moving on stalled sites.

There are no easy solutions or silver bullets. coherent and co-ordinated action is needed at each stage of the development process, to deliver a new vision in the way that housing is provided in England.