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The Public Land for Housing programme (2015-2020) aims to identify and release surplus central government land with capacity for at least 160,000 homes in England by end March 2020. Since the start of the programme to end June 2019, departments had sold 508 sites with capacity for c48,000 homes. We confirmed to the Public Accounts Committee in 2019 that land for 160,000 homes will be released to a longer time frame due to the complexities of disposal and the evolving demands placed on departments’ estates.
We are currently considering options for a next programme, reflecting on lessons learnt. Decisions on a future programme, including estimating the amount of centrally owned public sector land that could be used for housing, will be made at Spending Review.
In addition, at Budget 2016, an announcement was made that councils would collaborate with central government on a local authority land ambition, working with their partners to release surplus local authority-owned land with the capacity for at least 160,000 homes by the end of March 2020. As of August 2019, two-thirds of local authorities in England were forecasting the release of land for approximately 128,000 homes by the end of March 2020. We will report on the final local authority land ambition numbers in Summer 2020 once the final set of data has been collected. We are considering options for the future of the local authority land ambition after March 2020, including estimating the amount of surplus local authority land that could be used for housing.
Information on land held by individual sectors is continually refined.