Housing minister Caroline Flint (pictured) declined to reaffirm the government’s promise to build 3 million homes in England by 2020 in advance of her keynote speech to the Chartered Institute of Housing’s annual conference in Harrogate this week.

Asked whether the government was still committed to the target, Flint said: “Well, our target is to get housebuilding up to 240,000 homes a year – that’s still our target and that’s what we’re looking at now.”

However, she accepted that housebuilding rates were likely to fall in the interim, a position that has led commentators to predict that the overall 3 million homes target is not now achievable, even if the annual rate of build is later increased to 240,000.

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