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National Housing Federation warns of homes "crisis"

NHF calls for government action to tackle low supply of homes.

A warning has come from the National Housing Federation (NHF) that government action is needed to tackle a "chronic under-supply of homes" and avert a "crisis" in the housing market, the BBC reports.

The NHF predicted rising rents and sharp decreases in home ownership rates if action is not taken. Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, NHF campaigns director Ruth Davison explained "what we need to do is build new homes," adding that the government has failed to understand that "we are in the grip of a housing crisis" and expressing a fear that, without sufficient intervention, "an entire generation will be locked out of decent housing."

The NHF also points to statistics that last year, the number of new homes built reached the lowest in peacetime since 1923, and blames declining home ownership on banks setting too lenient lending criteria and too small deposits.

The government responded by outlining plans to make more land available for building and invest billions in lower-cost homes.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps re-iterated that his "plans to release thousands of acres of public land" would "get Britain building again". He specified that "this government is putting £4.5bn towards an affordable homes programme which is set to exceed our original expectations," claiming it could "deliver up to 170,000 new homes over the next four years."

The NHF expressed disappointment at this figure and declared it to be a 63% cut on the government's previous spending programme.

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