The crisis has been known about for some time but very little seems to have been achieved to date, and Britain cruises towards it like a ship quietly approaching an iceberg. Let's see what we can learn:
Over the next decade it is estimated that 270,000 new homes will be needed each year, yet on average only 147,000 are being built.
And last year house-building dropped to only 100,000, the lowest level since 1924.
The 2011 Census showed that the British population increased by 3.7 million people over the decade since the previous Census in 2001 and is forecast to reach 70 million by 2027.
For example, the population of East Anglia, as noted here, is forecast to increase by 500,000 people in the next two decades with some 24% more housing needed.
Counties such as Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex will see strong population growth.
However, there has been much political wrangling, largely due to the potential that greenfield land could also be released and vested interests are making progress towards new home construction painfully slow.
These locations are often seen as less desirable being located in run-down parts of cities or former industrial sites.
This, combined with the fact that some sites are contaminated, makes brownfield sites a tricky proposal for developers.
There is a chronic shortage of appropriate housing stock for downsizing in old age. Reports The Week:
"Survey after survey has shown that the preferred home for pensioners would be a bungalow - indeed it would be the home of choice for around a third of the population. However, bungalows constitute just one in 50 British houses".
It appears that developers are unwilling to build more single-storey homes due to the land space they take up which does not fit well with the developers' preferred density of 35-50 dwellings per hectare.
Lessons to be learned
The housing shortage crisis in the UK is going to be caused by a combination of factors:
-population migration towards one part of the country
-population choosing to live in different property types
-diabolical planning and endless political wrangling
-widespread NIMBYism and environmental concerns about population spread
-expensive demolition and construction costs
-difficulties obtaining construction finance
Will Australia's planners and politicians take heed from any of this? Well, one hopes so, but I'm doubtful.