Lord Kinnock urges huge programme to build prefabricated homes

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Former Labour leader Lord Kinnock has called for a massive programme of building prefabricated homes to tackle Britain's housing shortage.

Lord Kinnock said he had been brought up in a "comfortable and affordable prefab" and suggested it was a "rapid and effective way" of addressing the housing problem.

Communities and local government minister Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth said the Government was undertaking the "most ambitious house building programme for a generation".

As peers warned at question time about growing homelessness, Lord Kinnock said one of the major causes of the rise in homelessness was the shortage of supply and the huge rising cost of housing, particularly in the rented sector.

He urged ministers to "engage in a programme of massive building of prefabricated housing."

Lord Kinnock added: "As someone who was brought up very happily in a prefab - a comfortable and affordable prefab - right through to my late teens, can I recommend strongly this is a rapid and effective way of addressing the fundamental problem of this 21st century."

Lord Bourne said it was a factor in this complex area but was not simply a question of supply. The Government had a target for 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s.

He said Lord Kinnock was right about the importance of "modern methods of construction" and about 15% of new homes were constructed that way.

"You're right, we can get that up and we are looking at doing that," the minister added.