Housing minister Grant Shapps calls for more homes to be built

Housing minister Grant Shapps this morning said the UK should be building 200,000 homes a year.

Speaking on the BCC’s Today programme in response to a report by homelessness charity Shelter into the rising cost of renting, Shapps’ comments came despite the fact the government has repeatedly refused to set housing targets since the abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies.

Shapps said: “We think there has to be something like a couple of hundred thousand homes created each year, something in that kind of order. On this private rented sector issue…rent caps isn’t the answer, building more homes is the answer.

His comments come the day after his parliamentary aide, MP Jake Berry, told the Housing Market Intelligence conference that it was the government’s “intention” to see 230,000 homes built a year, and reinforce the view there has been a change of approach from ministers in the communities department.

Shapps said the government had a portfolio of initiatives in place that will revitalise the housebuilding sector. He said: “We’re trying to release a lot more energy in this sector. We’ve re-announced the right to buy scheme, and are saying that we’ll build an affordable rent home for every house sold, and get 100,000 new homes from that. Another scheme is using more government land.

“And, very controversially I understand, we’re saying going to reform the planning system – to make it easier and better to build homes where people want them to go.”