Sir Michael Lyons today published his long-awaited report outlining how Labour plans to deliver 200,000 new homes per year by 2020, if the party comes to power next May.
The 180-page report, prepared with the guidance of an expert panel from the private and public sectors, and academia, is a bold statement of intent. The challenge presented is huge: the biggest housing crisis in a generation, caused by a shortage of land for new homes and a significant decline in home building capacity.
The recommendations are ambitious and extensive, with a ten-step roadmap to delivery. Some of the more eye-catching include:
- The establishment of home building as a key priority at the highest level of Government from day one
- The creation of a Housing Observatory to speed delivery, supported by a reinvigorated Homes and Communities Agency
- A new Housing and Planning Bill with a raft of measures, including powers for Housing Growth Areas and New Homes Corporations, and strengthened Compulsory Purchase Orders.
- As the Conservatives showed at their recent Conference, with plans for 100,000 discounted homes for first-time buyers among other pledges, there is now no doubt that home building is set to be a hugely significant issue in the General Election campaign