Shelter backs SME builders to fix housing crisis

Homeless charity has published new report which calls for SME builders and the build-to-rent sector to play a more prominent role in fixing the housing crisis.

“It is widely recognised that increasing housebuilding to the level now required is a major challenge,” the charity said. “If we are entering a period of economic uncertainty following the vote to leave the EU then that challenge will be magnified. However the government’s million homes commitment is also a huge opportunity to turn around a weakness for our country and fulfil people’s ambition for a home of their own.”

Shelter has outlined a set of policies aimed at increasing housebuilding, including a ‘help to build’ package for SMEs and support for the Build to Rent sector. It also argues for communities to be given stronger planning tools and calls for greater release of public land.

The Federation of Master Builders has welcomed the case brought forward for supporting SME firms. “As Shelter’s report identifies, there’s a compelling case for turbo-charging the SME house building sector, which policy makers have started to recognise is key to reaching the levels of house building that we need,” said Sarah McMonagle, Director of External Affairs at the FMB.

“Some progress is being made in terms of reforming the planning process and improving access to finance for smaller firms but there’s much more that the Government can and should be doing,” she continued. “Over and above Shelter’s recommendations to the Government, we’re calling on Ministers to lift the borrowing on local authorities and allow councils to be significant house builders once more. This will help calm any confidence wobbles among private developers and put the house building industry back on track, helping us reach that target of one million homes.”

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