WATCH: Thinktank focuses on housing crisis

Thinktank IPPR North has today launched the first of three animations on the housing crisis this week under the guise of The Bricks & Mortar Party election broadcasts, setting out how to address the housing crisis.

With the population growing and ageing – 250,000 new households are formed every year – the housing crisis is reaching a critical point. IPPR North says 250,000 new homes need to be built a year, more than double the 112,000 homes completed last year.

The failure to build enough homes over decades by parties of all colours has resulted in sky-high renting costs, a £25billion housing benefit bill and dreams of home ownership stilted.

IPPR North propose a six-point plan to get Britain building: Invest billions more public and private money to finance new house-building; break up the monopoly of the ‘Big Four’ private house-builders by encouraging more competition; flip spending from housing benefit to bricks, to build new homes rather than subsidise high rents; a wave of new towns outside our big cities, and ‘city villages’ within them; hand power to town halls to create ‘new home zones’ – to speed up planning and capture growing land values; introduce a new tax on land with unused planning permission.

Ed Cox, director at IPPR North, said: “The main political parties have set out ambitious targets to build up to 300,000 new homes a year, but we have seen precious little financial commitment to this vital issue. How we house the nation is one of the biggest challenges of the next Parliament and beyond. Britain isn’t building and we desperately need more homes.”