The housebuilding industry has set out a blueprint for how it believes the next government can build on recent increases in supply and go even further to deliver more new homes in the next parliament.
Whilst supply has increased by over 50% in the past three years, if the industry is to deliver the increases all parties now agree are required, the next government will need to continue to develop the policy agenda to allow existing builders to expand output even further and faster, and also support new entrants and struggling smaller firms. HBF’s proposals include:
- Promoting policies that enable more builders to build – in particular SMEs – such that they can play their part in increasing output further;
- Providing certainty about the future of the Help to Buy scheme which has been absolutely key in the increases in supply to date;
- Delivering further improvements to the planning system – the time consuming and bureaucratic nature of system remains a constraint on increasing supply. Delays and costs deter new entrants and prevent construction work starting;
- Developing policies that encourage more specialist homes to be built to meet the needs of our ageing population;
- Encouraging better collaboration between infrastructure planners and house building. Builders pay millions each year towards improved infrastructure and more effective coordination would deliver considerable benefits for communities while accelerating delivery.
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation said, “Housing supply has increased significantly over the past three years, but if we are to raise our sights still further and better match supply to demand, Government needs to play its part.
“House builders already have a strong desire to continuing boosting supply, as evidenced by the huge investments being made by the country’s largest builders in the land and workforce needed to deliver additional homes. Ensuring a policy environment that promotes development will allow this investment to be sustained.
“Over decades building homes has become increasingly costly and risky as developers have been bogged down in red tape and inevitable delays. That has driven out small firms and prevented new entrants from contributing. Encouraging greater entrepreneurialism in the sector could help boost housing supply by tens of thousands a year.
“The social implications of our housing shortage are becoming ever more apparent with today’s young people struggling to own a home, high rental payments preventing them from saving for a mortgage deposit and ever more people in sub-standard or temporary accommodation and on local authority waiting lists. Building homes helps address social issues, whilst creating jobs both directly and in the supply chain and delivering investment in existing communities.
“Delivering more desperately needed high quality homes will both help strengthen our society and give our economy a boost in the uncertain years ahead.”