Housebuilding 'must rise five-fold' to meet Right to Buy pledge

Reports that the construction of homes to replace those sold through the government's extension of the Right to Buy needs to increase 'five-fold' to meet its 'one-for-one pledge' feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Independent reports that government spending watchdog the National Audit Office (NAO) has said in a report that to "meet the target of replacing the roughly 8,512 homes sold in 2014/15 by the end of 2017/18…would require quarterly housing starts to reach around 2,130, a five-fold increase on recent figures of approximately 420 per quarter". The newspaper says that the report also highlighted that a government vow to replace homes sold under the scheme "does not necessarily mean like-for-like". Replacement properties, it says, can be "a different size, and built in a different area, compared to those that have been sold".

The Guardian reports that a "record low number of affordable homes are being built in the London area, according to figures published by the Greater London Authority." The newspaper says that in some London boroughs "the number of affordable homes has shrivelled to just a handful. Richmond upon Thames, with a population of 194,000, built just five affordable homes in 2014/15 and the City of London managed zero, while Bromley lost affordable homes after the number of affordable properties was cut when a council estate was refurbished."

An article in the Independent asks whether "micro-living" flats could be part of the solution to the housing crisis. The article says that "developers in high-density, high-cost cities are building good-looking, smartly designed, teeny tiny apartments to counter the conundrum of diminishing space."

The Times (subscription required) reports that Greg Lynn, an American architect, "believes the tall buildings of the future are likely to be stuck together rather than welded and riveted". The newspaper says that Lynn "sees no reason why buildings constructed largely of composite materials cannot be put together in the same way as aircraft, wind-turbine blades or yachts".

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