U.K. Housing Policy Will Fail to Meet Requirements, Lords Say

The U.K. government’s housing policy is insufficient and risks leading to poor-quality homes, a panel of lawmakers said on Friday.

Relying on private developers won’t meet existing demand for about 240,000 new homes a year, the House of Lords Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment said Friday in a report. The panel, from Parliament’s upper house, called for local government and private nonprofit housing associations to be given a bigger role in new-builds. It also demanded new powers for local authorities over the quality of housing.

“If we build those houses in the wrong place, to a poor standard, without the consent of local communities we are only storing up future misery for the people in those houses and others nearby,” chairwoman Detta O’Cathain said in a statement. “Spending a little bit extra on good-quality design at the outset can avert massive costs to people, society and government in the long-run.”

Housing was a key issue at last year’s general election. Prime Minister David Cameron revived one of his predecessor Margaret Thatcher’s most popular policies, the discounted sale of social housing to tenants, in the run-up to the vote.

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