Long-term Plan for Housing - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:42 pm on 11 January 2024.

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Photo of Baroness Penn Baroness Penn Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) 2:42, 11 January 2024

I do not think that the delivery of more affordable housing and the delivery of more beautiful housing need to be in tension with each other. In fact, the right housing in the right place allows more support for development to go ahead, which is one of the big barriers we see to delivering more housing in local areas, and affordable housing should be beautiful housing too. Noble Lords have had a lot of debates in this House about the standards within our homes, particularly within our social housing. We should be no less ambitious for the standards that people enjoy in their housing, whether it is social housing, affordable housing or private housing. The noble Baroness, Lady Pinnock, talked about space for children to play, for example. Taking into account that kind of amenity is important for the right development to go ahead. We should recognise that we have made significant progress in recent years in building more houses. We have had some of the highest housing delivery in the past four years that we have had in the past 20 years, and we seek to continue that, but without those measures necessarily needing to be in tension. The noble Lord spoke about Ministers talking to each other in different departments. I reassure him that, particularly on these areas that cut across different interests and on something like net zero or environmental impact, we bring together the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, my department and Defra to work together to provide solutions on these issues.