Chancellor announces mandatory housebuilding targets

The new chancellor Rachel Reeves has just given her first speech in the new job, in which she has confirmed plans to bring back compulsory housebuilding targets.

She announced that there will be an immediate loosening of planning red tape that has held back construction, infrastructure, and the energy grid, as part of broader plans to encourage investors to invest tens of billions of pounds in housebuilding

She said: “It will still be in the first instance up to local communities and local authorities to decide where housing is built. But we will being back those mandatory housing targets and so the answer to [proposed housebuilding] cannot always be no.

“If the answer [to building new homes] is always no, we will continue as we are and continuing as we are will mean living standards continuing to decline and it means public services continuing to deteriorate.

“I am not willing to accept that status quo and so we’ve got to get Britain building, and we’ve got to ensure families can get on the housing ladder.”

She continued: “Homeownership is going backwards. It’s gone backwards in the past few years. Britain today has lower homeownership than it should, and the Labour party – this government – want to be the party of homeownership. But we also know that social housing is an important part of the mix, and will be included in the 1.5 million new homes [over the life of this Parliament].”

Reeves added that the housebuilding target will also include socially rented hones, and those operating in the private rented sector can expect to see the scrapping of Section 21 evictions to help those who do not own their own home or qualify for social housing.

Reeves offered some more detail on deputy prime minister Angela Rayner’s role going forward, saying she will write to planning authorities to ensure they are prioritising brownfield and greybelt land to meet housing targets.

She said their “golden rules” will allow them to deliver “thousands more homes”, including social housing.

Alongside these housing targets, Reeves said Labour will reform the planning system to deliver infrastructure needs that have been left “unresolved for far too long”.

Reeves also said the new government will set out new policy intentions for critical infrastructure in the coming months

“I know there will be opposition to this,” said Reeves”, “I’m not naïve, but trade offs always exist”.

When will the Labour government deliver 300,000 new homes a year?

“We can’t build overnight, but that’s why we have set out today the initial steps that we are going to take to unlock private sector investments to build those homes,” Reeves said.

“This Labour government has been elected on a mandate to get things done and get Britain building,” Reeves continued.

With these steps we have done more to unblock the planning system in the last 72 hours than the last government did in 14 years,” she added. “There is no time to waste.”


‘It’s a new start, so let’s get to work’, says new chancellor Rachel Reeves



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