Disposal of public land for new homes Contents

Summary

The Department for Communities and Local Government cannot demonstrate the success of the land disposal programme in addressing the housing shortage or achieving value for money because it does not collect information on the actual number of houses built or under construction, the proceeds from land sold, or whether the parcels of land were sold at market value. Instead, it chose to focus only on a notional number for ‘potential’ capacity for building houses on the land sold by individual departments in order to determine ‘success’. The Department also counted towards the programme’s target the capacity of land sold before the programme had even started. It did not collect basic information necessary to oversee the programme effectively and, where it did collect programme-level data, there were omissions and inconsistencies. With much greater ambitions for land disposals in the new Parliament, the Department must address the weaknesses in the current programme, and the Department has accepted that it needs to improve its general monitoring. If it is to oversee the new programme effectively then this must specifically include tracking sale proceeds and progress with the actual construction of new homes, and overseeing the programme in a way that gives Parliament and the taxpayer much greater assurance over the value for money achieved from all disposals.