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Housing: Construction

Question for Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

UIN 103540, tabled on 13 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he plans to take steps to revise down future housing projections in local plans in the context of the latest population predictions from the Office for National Statistics.

Answered on

21 January 2022

The standard method for assessing local housing need is only the starting point in the process of planning for new homes. It comprises a baseline of 2014-based household projections, informed by population projections, which are then adjusted to take account of affordability and capped to make the increase realistic for areas. In December 2020 following a review, a 35% uplift for the 20 most populated urban areas was added to ensure that the standard method was consistent with the aim to deliver 300,000 homes a year. After uncertainty due to COVID-19 it was particularly important to provide stability and certainty for plan-making and decision-making, so that local areas could get on and plan based on a method and level of ambition that they are familiar with.

Household projections are not a measure of how many homes are needed to meet demand, they simply show what would happen if past trends continue. The Office for National Statistics has been clear that lower household projections do not mean fewer homes need to be built.

As with all policies we will monitor the impact of the updated standard method, particularly as the impact of changes to the way we live and work and levelling up become clear.