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Government acknowledges it will not meet housing 'target'

28 February 2020

The House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee has published a report criticising the Government for stating once again that they have a ‘target' of releasing public land with capacity to build 160,000 homes between 2015-2020 when they acknowledge there will be a shortfall of just under 100,000 and the ‘target' was simply ‘aspirational'.


The criticism comes after the Committee scrutinised, the Homes and Communities Agency (Transfer of Property) Regulations 2020 which make provision for land owned by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Staffordshire County Council to be transferred to Homes England for housing development.

Chair's comment

Commenting, Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, Chair of the Committee, said:

 “When the Government state that they have set a ‘target', they should have an expectation, based on a realistic assessment of the evidence, that it is achievable. If targets are nothing more than ‘aspirational', how can we understand the real intentions of the Government and how can we call the Government to account for their performance measured against a so-called target?

 “We were disappointed in this particular case that the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government laid these Regulations with an Explanatory Memorandum which failed to explain clearly that the ‘target' of capacity for 160,000 homes under the Public Land for Housing Programme 2015-2020 was simply “aspirational” and that there was likely to be a significant shortfall.

 “We believe the House will want to consider these Regulations in the broader context of the Government's policy of disposal of surplus public sector land for housing, and so have drawn them to the special attention of the House.”