Councils across the UK are failing to meet their housebuilding targets, with some falling more than six years below the intended goal, according to new research by Project Etopia

Project Etopia discovered that housebuilding across the UK is moving at such a stagnant pace that local authorities are, on average, 6.2 years behind the rate of housebuilding needed to hit targets identified as part of the Government’s ten-year plan, ending in 2026.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government set out annual housebuilding targets with local authorities up to 2026, published in September 2017.

However, building in 316 local authority areas is set to fail to reach the housing needs by 889,803 homes over the next decade.

Research showed that 75 locations across the UK are keeping pace with housing requirements. However, so far 241 areas are already in deficit, leaving those 9.2 years behind housebuilding targets on average.

If those councils not building fast enough do not speed up, they will fail to meet their targets by 1,013,312 homes by 2026, Project Etopia reports.

Of the ten councils that have fallen the furthest behind, it would take until between 2042-60 for all the homes required by 2026 to be built.

Figures show that Southend-on-Sea is the worst town or city outside of London for meeting its housebuilding targets, and is set to be 8,405 homes short. If it does not speed up, it will take 34 more years to build that amount of housing stock.

York and Luton are the only other towns and cities that are more than 20 years behind.

For years, councils have been prevented from building new homes themselves. However, the Prime Minister announced last month (October 2018) that the borrowing cap would be lifted, to encourage local authorities to commission new developments.

Joseph Daniels, the CEO of Project Etopia, said: “It is alarming to see so many areas so far behind already. If the pace is not rapidly picked up, we will be in an even deeper black hole in ten years’ time than we are in now.

“Housing need is plain for all to see, but not enough is being done about it. There is an air of complacency — everyone knows we need to build more houses and fast, but not enough decisive action is being taken to ease the crisis.”

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