Shortfall of 500,000 affordable homes if budget is cut, warns housing group

The government will struggle to build even half of its target of a million affordable homes by 2020 if the housing budget is not exempted from public spending cuts, a housing campaign group says. If the cuts to the house-building budget suggested by November’s pre-budget report go ahead, the number of affordable homes built by 2020 will be 444,000, says the National Housing Federation. The NHF is calling on Gordon Brown to make the house building budget ‘untouchable’ and give it the same status as hospitals, schooling and policing, areas the government said in November it would ringfence while it cut back spending in other areas.

Councils told to rethink housing

Local authorities should not adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach when granting planning permission for housing, and should move away from the approach to planning policy that led to large-scale construction of high-density flats on urban brownfield land, according to a report from the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit (NHPAU), a quango set up to advise government on housing policy. The NHPAU looked at the development of housing in a variety of densities and locations and concluded that while high-density housing was sometimes the most valuable, it often was not.