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Parliamentary committee tackles the nitty-gritty of building three million new houses by 2020

A cross-party parliamentary committee has launched a public inquiry into how the UK will deliver the three million homes promised by the government by 2020.

Topping Prime Minister Gordon Brown's agenda, the housing target has been backed by £3 billion of funding, but ministers are urgently looking to find new ways to provide the homes and meet the housing demand.

The parliamentary group, made up of MPs and peers from the three main parties, will examine the housing challenges faced by towns and cities across the country, as well as the most effective ways to deliver urban housing.

Furthermore, the committee will look at the options for improving housing quality and design, as well the role the private sector will play.

The committee will hold a public inquiry session in November, and will make its final report and recommendations in early 2008.

Clive Betts, Labour MP for Sheffield Attercliffe and chair of the group, said: 'The government has set out targets for new homes - but the current system will not deliver what's needed. Our inquiry will provide recommendations for ministers, who are right to have started a national debate on housing policy.

'We must now find better ways to build new housing - and the solutions will involve both public- and private-sector players.'

by Richard Vaughan

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