Posted on 12th December 2019

The £4bn Dilemma – Refurbish the Houses of Parliament or Provide 1 in 3 Homeless People with a New Home?


Research has revealed matching the cost of planned Palace of Westminster repairs could dramatically reduce the UK housing deficit.

Data examined by property finance specialists Pure Commercial Finance revealed for £4bn – the estimated cost of essential repairs in Westminster – over 40,000 new properties could be built, housing almost 121,000 people (three people/property).

Government figures reveal 430,000 affordable homes have been built since 2010, but housing charity Shelter estimates a deficit of 3.2m homes and states there are around 320,000 homeless people in the UK – 170,000 in London alone.

Using internal data, Pure Commercial Finance calculated that the average 3-bedroom home in the UK costs £99,842.75 to build, meaning the Houses of Parliament budget, if matched, could house over a third of the UK’s rough sleepers (37.5%), or 71% of the capital’s homeless.

Ben Lloyd, Managing Director and Co-founder of Pure Commercial Finance, said:

“As development finance specialists, we deal with professional developers every day and are well-aware of the demand for affordable housing across the UK and the influence Brexit is having on borrowing.

“Although we would never suggest cancelling the refurbishment of such a prized national monument, we were shocked to see how matching the refurbishment budget could help towards solving the deficit.

“We placed millions of pounds of commercial property finance last year and will continue to ease the affordability and process of building across the UK for the foreseeable.”

Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter, stated:

“It’s unforgivable that 320,000 people in Britain have been swept up by the housing crisis and now have no place to call home. These new figures show that homelessness is having a devastating impact on the lives of people right across the country.”

To full the full research, visit this page, or if you’d like the full list of cities and towns by percentage, please get in touch: