The Tories have failed to meet their manifesto pledge to build 300,000 new homes - again.
According to new figures some 234,397 new homes were supplied in England in 2022/23. The total includes 212,568 new builds, as well as 22,163 properties that saw a change of use from non-domestic to residential. Despite a national housing crisis it is 56 fewer new homes on the previous 12 months which stood at 234,462.
The Tories' 2019 general election manifesto promised a target "of 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s" and a commitment to "build at least a million more homes". But according to the figures published by the Department for Levelling Up - led by the Tory Cabinet Minister Michael Gove - the highest figure since the election stood at 248,591 in 2019/20. This fell sharply to 217,754 in 2020/21 during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Angela Rayner, Labour’s Deputy Leader and Shadow Housing Secretary, said: “The Conservatives have failed to hit their housing target each and every year since they set it. When swift and meaningful action is required, this government is taking us backwards, with fewer houses delivered than last year and a generation locked out of a secure home.
“The next Labour government will jump-start planning and get spades in the ground to deliver 1.5 million homes over the next Parliament. Labour’s housing recovery plan will deliver the new homes our country desperately needs.”
In the summer the Commons Housing and Communities Committee warned the Government would fail to achieve the target without "urgent action". MPs on the committee had also warned the number of new homes could take a "major hit" under the Tories' shake-up of planning rules.
In December 2022 Mr Gove scrapped mandatory housing targets for councils in favour of an advisory system. “Planning consultants say annual housebuilding will go down to around 150,000 a year under the Government’s proposed policy reforms," MPs warned in July.
Housing could become a key issue at next year's likely general election. Labour leader Keir Starmer promised at the party's annual conference this year to build 1.5million new homes across England in five years if his party wins power. Mr Starmer promised “shovels in the ground and cranes in the sky” to deliver “more beautiful cities [and] more prosperous towns”, adding: “That is the responsibility of a serious government. And if we continually wash our hands of this task – we all end up stuck in a rut. Just like now."
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has been contacted for comment.