Economy needs housebuilding budget boost to tackle housing crisis

This is according to the Home Builders Federation who say, a year into office the Government is facing a huge housing dilemma. House building is at an all time low; planning permissions are continuing to decline; the number of first time buyers has collapsed; millions of families are languishing on Local Authority waiting lists; and there is an ongoing hiatus being caused by the Coalition’s radically different planning system that is still being formulated, with Local Authorities struggling to get to grips with the new incentive based proposals.

HBF say economic growth is crucial to the wider economy over the next few years. According to Government figures, even in its current crisis state, housing supply accounts for around 3% of UK GDP and provides between 1 and 1.25 million jobs in the UK.

According to HBF this Budget is therefore an opportunity it just can not miss and the Government must:

•Introduce a replacement for the hugely successful HomeBuy Direct shared equity scheme to assist FTBs currently unable to access the housing ladder because of the harsh mortgage market. This would have an immediate impact on house building activity and jobs.

•Work with lenders and house builders to address the wider mortgage famine and facilitate the introduction of solutions – such as mortgage indemnity insurance

•Introduce tax incentives for a FTB deposit savings scheme

•Seek to release public sector land – from central and local government and quangos – for development

•Reduce the unsustainable regulatory costs being imposed by Central and Local Government that are currently making many potential housing sites unviable.

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of HBF said;

"This is a critical budget for the Government if it is serious about its commitment to increase housing supply and boost the economy.

"House building can be a crucial driver in creating jobs and investment. By tackling the record low levels of construction and our current housing crisis we could create 200,000 jobs a year.

"For this to happen, we need to see action taken to increase mortgage lending – especially to First Time Buyers – more public land being made available and a real reduction in regulation.”

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