A recent article in the Times reported that more than half of English housebuilders believe the government’s target to provide 1 million homes by 2020 is not achievable.
Reasons cited include a shortage of skills, shortage of land, delays in the planning process and 29% of respondents said that the inability of the scheme to generate a profit was a major factor in delaying the provision of new homes.
There is a huge amount of politicking swirling around the housing provision issue. Over the years housebuilders have been asked to enforce a “land-tax-by-stealth” in order that government of whatever colour can avoid being directly associated with such an unpopular counter-productive and historically unenforceable policy.
Surely the answer is for the government to build affordable housing and let the housebuilders get on with providing the rest of the housing need.