Homes England under review


The Cabinet Office will assess whether Homes England is fulfilling the housing needs of taxpayers.

Housing in the UK.

The review is part of the Cabinet Office’s Public Bodies Review programme, which looks at the efficiency and necessity of institutions like the NHS, Civil Aviation Authority, and National Park authorities. 

Reviewers will look at the current working practices of Homes England, including its structure, compliance, outcomes for stakeholders and customers, and how it works with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). 

Homes England is working toward delivering up to 300,000 homes annually by the mid-2020s, following the secretary of state’s confirmation in October 2022. 

Full Scope 

The government launched Homes England in 2018 to replace the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) with a commitment to produce new homes.

This focus came from the Autumn Budget 2017, which found that 25-34-year-olds owning their own home dropped from 59% to 38% in 13 years, with the average property value being around £223,000. 

In December 2022, the average house in the UK was around £294,000, with just under 10% of homeowners being 25-34 years old, according to Statista

The UK has a development backlog of 4.3 million new homes as of 2023, revealed a report from the think tank Centre for Cities

Consequently, the government must deliver around 442,000 homes annually over the next 25 years to meet housing demand. 

Homes England’s progress

Looking at housing statistics between April 2022 and 31 March 2023, Homes England has completed 32,990 new houses and put forward 36,478 new houses starting on site. 

Unfortunately, Homes England missed its build target for 2016-2023 affordable homes due to hostile market conditions and rising construction costs. 

Despite this dip, the public body expects to exceed its objective of delivering 130,000 new affordable homes, with 126,800 starting by the end of March 2023 and 5,000 remaining starts to deliver in 2023-24.

Of the affordable homes completed,10,250 were for affordable rent, a 27% decrease from the previous year, and 9,336 were intermediate affordable housing schemes. 

The remaining 3,732 were social rent, which rose by 21% compared to last year. 

For further building support, Homes England will use the grant it secured for the Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26 to fund replacement homes as part of its wider estate regeneration plans.

The review 

The Cabinet will consult with Homes England staff, management, and members of the public and representative bodies as part of its investigation. 

Tony Poulter, a non-executive member of the Department for Transport (DfT) board, will lead the review, which will be finalised with recommendations by the end of the year. 

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