①When the government talks about infrastructure contributing to the economy, the focus is usually on roads, railways, broadband and energy. Housing is seldom mentioned.
②Why is that? To some extent the housing sector must shoulder the blame. We have not been good at communicating the real value that housing can contribute to economic growth. Then there is the scale of the typical housing project. It is hard to shove for attention among multibillion-pound infrastructure project, so it is inevitable that the attention is focused elsewhere. But perhaps the most significant reason is that the issue has always been so politically charged.
③Nevertheless, the affordable housing situation is desperate. Waiting lists increase all the time and we are simply not building enough new homes.
⑤There are some indications that it is preparing to do just that. The communities minister, Don Foster, has hinted that George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, may introduce more flexibility to the current cap on the amount that local authorities can borrow against their housing stock debt. Evidence shows that 60,000 extra new homes could be built over the next five years if the cap were lifted, increasing GDP by 0.6%.
⑥Ministers should also look at creating greater certainty in the rental environment, which would have a significant impact on the ability of registered providers to fund new developments from revenues.
36. The author believes that the housing sector ______.
37. It can be learned that affordable housing has ______.
38. According to Paragraph 5, George Osborne may ______.
39. It can be inferred that a stable rental environment would ______.
40. The author believes that after 2015, the government may ______.