News: Spring/Summer 2006
Massive increase in house building called for
Appeared on Space For Nature on March 15th 2006
Five million new homes will be needed in England over the next 20 years.
The number of households in England is forecast to increase by more than a fifth, from 20.9 million in 2003 to 25.7 million by 2026, according to the latest projections published by John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister.
If translated into new homes built, this would mean the loss of more than 368 square miles of countryside, an area the size of the West Midlands conurbation, in 20 years.
The projections, the first to be based on the 2001 Census, show that new households are being formed at a rate of 209,000 a year, compared with projections of 189,000 in 2004 and 153,000 in 1996. The number of new households in England each year has gone up by 50,000 since the 1996 figures.
Single-person households account for 150,000 of the 209,000 annual growth figure. Some 137,000 of these are aged over 35 and 55,000 are older than 65.
Mr Prescott's department pointed out that the household projections were not an assessment of housing need, but an indication of the likely increase in the number of households given the recent demographic trends.
Yvette Cooper, the housing minister, said: "We have an ageing, growing population with more people living alone. If we don't build more homes to meet that need we will see prices further pushing first-time buyers out of the market."
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