Inquiry into capacity of housebuilders launched

The Committee is expected to invite the chief executives of major developers to give evidence. Other areas to be covered by the inquiry include the role of small and medium-sized developers, the skills, size and sustainability of the workforce, the planning process and development finance.

The Committee will also consider innovative ways of overcoming constraints on the industry, such as self-builds, off-site construction and direct commissioning by central government. The Committee is likely to invite ministers and representatives of industry bodies, the Homes and Communities Agency, local authorities and housing associations to give evidence in public. Skills and training experts, members of the off-site construction and self-build sectors and debt and equity financiers are also expected to be called.

Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Committee, said, “The capacity of the homebuilding industry is a key factor in housing supply, which is simply not keeping up with demand and has left us in the midst of a crisis. The Committee will cast a critical eye over the major homebuilders, examine the decline of small and medium-sized developers and look closely at the skills shortages, planning delays and finance issues hampering the industry.

“Our wide-ranging inquiry will also explore alternative models, such as self-builds and off-site construction, to see if such innovative approaches to homebuilding can help address the country’s housing needs.”

The Committee is inviting submissions of evidence on the following issues:

  • Whether the numbers of builders and types of firms in the homebuilding industry is sufficient to meet housing demand;
  • The structure of the homebuilding industry, in particular the role of small and medium-sized developers;
  • Housebuilders’ business models and how risk and uncertainty affect incentives to expand;
  • The sustainability, size and skills of the building industry workforce;
  • Why fewer homes are being started and completed than the number of planning; permissions being granted;
  • The extent to which current planning approaches cause delays to the building of new homes;
  • Innovative approaches to increasing the housing supply, for example self-build, off-site construction and direct commissioning by central government and local housing companies;
  • The role of development finance and how it can promote or constrain housing investment;
  • The Committee would be grateful to receive written submissions by 12 September 2016.

MAIN IMAGE: A residential development under construction. © Copyright Oast House Archive and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

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