Lunchtime news June 14

The Liberal Democrats today dramatically raised the political stakes on housing with a call for a million new affordable homes over the next decade. The 100,000-a-year programme would be more than double the current programme.

But housing minister Yvette Cooper told the BBC the Lib Dem figures were ‘flaky and don’t add up’.

The Commission on Integration and Cohesion published its final report this morning arguing that housing has a key part to play in community relations and calling for a boost in supply and greater transparency in allocations. Go here for the DCLG press release.

Rural affairs minister Barry Gardiner announced a feasibility study to be carried out by DEFRA and the Houisng Corporation to help overcome local barriers to rural affordable housing provision. He was speaking at a Commission for Rural Communities conference marking one year since the report of the Affordable Rural Housing Commision.

Two consortia of housing associations are still in the running to manage the Cambridge Challenge with the Housing Corporation expecting to announce the winner of the competion to develop sites in the city by the end of July.

New instructions to sell homes rose at their fastest rate since the RICS began its survey in 1978 as home owners rushed (needlessly as it turned out) to beat the deadline for HIPs, reports the Financial Times.