Government maintains commitment to million homes target

House Building Taylor Wimpey London

""The Government is to continue its efforts to increase housing stock following the result of the EU referendum.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark and Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said the Government remained committed to tackling the shortage of new homes.

In a meeting with the Home Builders Federation (HBF), they said that the target for a million new homes was still a “top priority”.

Peter Andrew, deputy chairman of the HBF, welcomed the announcement.

“We were very pleased to hear the Secretary of State reaffirm the Government’s commitment to increasing housing supply,” he said.

“House-builders remain confident in the underlying level of demand for housing and will continue to deliver the homes the country needs.”

Estimates from the HBF suggest that around 245,000 new homes are needed each year in England.

In order to bring an end to the shortage, ministers announced a target to build a million new homes in England by 2020 last year.

Among the factors thought to be causing the shortfall are complicated planning procedures and a drop in the number of councils building new homes.

It is also thought that a shortage of skilled workers may be preventing developers from increasing construction rates.

As a way to plug the skills gap, the Government is also aiming to create three million apprenticeships by 2020.

It has protected the term “apprenticeship” in law to ensure the vocational training programmes are seen on an equal footing to career paths such as university degrees.

Figures from the National House Building Council (NHBC) show that there was an increase in the number of new homes completed last month.

According to the NHBC, there were 12,045 completions in May 2016 compared to 11,149 in May 2015.

Overall, almost 13,000 new homes were registered to be built in May, the figures show.

Meanwhile, the HBF has said that sales rates have so far not been affected by the referendum result last week.

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