Housing 2: Spending on homes 'would bring jobs bonanza'

Ending England's housing shortage would create 215,000 jobs but require an annual investment of more than £1.2bn, says a trade body.

The Government has estimated that an additional 232,000 new homes need to be built in England each year, just to keep up with the number of new households that are being created.

The Home Builders Federation said if this level of homes were to be built each year during the coming two decades, it would create more than 216,465 new jobs.

London would see the highest number of jobs directly created by the increase in building levels at more than 35,000, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber at 31,260 and the South East at more than 30,100.

But the building programme would require an annual 1.22bn investment from the Government's New Homes Bonus incentive, under which local councils are rewarded for allowing development in their area.

London would need the biggest investment of just under 200m a year, although the North East would need only 37m annually, and the West Midlands around 86m each year.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said: "Building houses is a win-win for communities across the country.

"Not only will families get the homes they need but local employment and increased investment will be boosted both by the house building industry and by Government.

"Economic growth is fundamental to a successful recovery and housing has a huge role to play – I urge local authorities to reap the rewards of development and start helping us to build the homes the country needs."

The housing shortage has been exacerbated by the credit crunch, with funding constraints for both developers and buyers contributing to new building levels during 2009 falling to their lowest level since the Second World War.

Nearly five million people are on social housing waiting lists, while 50,000 families are living in temporary accommodation and 250,000 families are in overcrowded homes.