Kent council drew guffaws of disbelief recently by suggesting its residents might like to help solve its housing shortage by upping sticks, moving to France and commuting to their jobs in England via the Channel Tunnel. Well, perhaps we should all start learning French.
This year, with much fanfare, the government said it would finance the development of 28,000 social homes to help meet undersupply. Prospects of building that number do not look good. Housing association build completions for the first five months of the year add up to 5990 units, which is up on last year's total, but only by a paltry 200 units. Housing association planning applications are also struggling – they showed a 1% decrease in May on the same month last year – so there is little prospect of dramatic improvement there.

Associations are eager to develop, but are suffering the constraints of private housebuilders, and more besides. Meanwhile, housing undersupply numbers go on growing. Kent's proposal is a measure of desperation – and things can only get worse.