NHF response to Secretary of State's speech on housing and planning

19 December 2023

Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, says:

“Millions of people in communities across England are affected by the housing emergency, and today’s changes risk further undermining the country’s ability to build the homes we desperately need. 

“These changes, which effectively relax local housing targets, will result in fewer homes; and measures to get councils building and approving applications, whilst positive, won't be enough to offset this risk. We're concerned measures to protect the greenbelt at any cost will prevent otherwise sustainable developments, close to existing communities, from being built. Some greenbelt land is of low quality and limited value and includes car parks and petrol stations. Given the chronic shortage of homes in England, it makes sense to use this land to deliver new homes, whilst protecting the parts of the green belt that are more valuable to our environment.

“Our research shows that, without urgent action, by the end of the next parliament nearly five million households will be living in unaffordable homes and 150,000 children will be facing homelessness. To solve the housing crisis, this short-term, piecemeal approach to housing policy and planning must end. As we head towards the election, we need all political parties to commit to a properly funded, nationally coordinated long-term housing plan that aims to transform the health, economic security, and life chances of millions.”

Who to speak to

Press office