The UK’s housing model is broken and more homes are “desperately” needed, Michael Gove has said.
The housing secretary said progress in tackling problems had been “piecemeal” but insisted he was committed to increasing the housing supply.
He also said he wanted to improve the quality of existing homes.
Labour’s Lisa Nandy said “It takes some brass neck for ministers that have been in power for 13 years to complain about our ‘broken’ housing model.”
The shadow housing secretary added: “People would be entitled to ask: who broke it?”
Labour has said it would, if elected to government, aim to increase home ownership to 70%.
The Liberal Democrats have campaigned for renters to get longer tenancies and protection from unfair rent hikes.
Mr Gove made the comments in the foreword to a collection of essays on housing published by the Conservative think tank Bright Blue and the housing charity Shelter.
He said the need for change was “undeniable” and the government was “determined to build the new homes our country so urgently needs”.
“That the current housing model – from supply to standards and the mortgage market – is broken, we can all agree.”
In their 2019 manifesto, the Conservatives – who have been in power since 2010 – committed to building 300,000 homes in England every year by the mid 2020s.
However, the party has found it difficult to make progress towards meeting the pledge.
In 2020, plans to force local local councils to accept new housing developments had to be paused following a fierce backlash from the government’s own MPs.
Last year, former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick warned the government would miss its target by “a country mile”.
And in December, the government was forced to water down housing targets for local councils after nearly 60 Conservative MPs threatened to vote in favour of banning mandatory targets.
In his foreword, Mr Gove said measures in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill would help increase supply, while at the same time putting neighbourhoods “firmly in control”.
The bill, currently going through Parliament, would introduce penalties for developers who are slow to build already-approved homes.
Mr Gove also said he wanted to increase the quality of existing homes in the rented sector “by holding developers, local authorities and landlords to account”.
Recent high-profile cases – including the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak – has highlighted the problems of bad quality homes.
Other Conservative MPs also contributed to the report including Selaine Saxby who suggested tax changes to ensure short term holiday lets would not be able to claim mortgage rate relief.
The North Devon MP said recent growth in the short term holiday let market had led to big increases in house prices, making home ownership “an unattainable dream” for local people.
Kent MP Damian Green said there needed to be more specialist accommodation for older people to move into, thereby freeing up “big family homes”.
Jo Gideon – the Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central – said the government should provide more support to encourage developers to build on brownfield sites.