750,000 homes needed by 2015, reveals JRF

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation last week revealed that it estimates a massive 750,000 homes are required to meet the UK’s housing needs by 2015.

However, even if all the Government’s current housing schemes succeed by the end of 2015, JRF says the UK will still have 310,000 fewer homes than it needs.

The Government announced recently a raft of housing and planning measures in an effort to kickstart the economy. And the Home Builders Federation last Monday that the Government’s NewBuy scheme is gaining momentum as it hit 1,300 reservations since its launch six months ago.

JRF says it is still not enough and along with a massive increase in house building, the charity is also calling for a pooled mortgage insurance fund and wants a revaluation of council tax bands to act as a brake on house price inflation.

It says a revaluation of council tax bands would act as a brake on inflation and make the system fairer and that currently 3.7 million households are worse off as a result of the failure to revalue council tax because households would have moved down bands.

It has also called for an insurance partnership scheme where borrowers, lenders and the Government each make a contribution to a pooled fund that can cover struggling homeowners’ mortgage costs to prevent repossessions.

JRF programme manager Kathleen Kelly says: “As MPs gather for their party conferences and the new housing minister settles in, now is the time to fix the underlying problems in the housing market. It will take huge political courage to achieve this but we cannot afford to leave people or our economy helplessly exposed to our volatile housing system.”