New Govt must now honour home building pledge

"A stable coalition Government will provide certainty as we look to tackle the country’s housing crisis. Appointing Shapps is a sensible move that will provide consistency in the home building industry’s discussions with the Government as the Conservatives’ pre-election proposals are put into effect. Greg Clarke’s position will also be vital as the Government pushes through its radical changes to the Planning System. A manageable transition plan will be essential if we are to avoid a period of uncertainty and delay and a hiatus in housing delivery.

Baseley continued: "The Conservatives have stated many times that they are committed to building more homes. The Government’s task now is to develop a policy framework that will deliver on this promise, working closely with the home building industry.

"Such a framework must include, as a matter of urgency, steps to tackle the lack of mortgage availability, particularly for first-time buyers, and increase the supply of viable developable land, both of which are currently constraining housing supply. It must also find a way of reducing to realistic levels the regulatory costs that have rocketed over the past decade.

"It must not include any proposals to introduce VAT on new homes, a pre-election idea floated by the Lib Dems and subsequently dismissed by the Conservatives, which would be a significant step backwards and would penalise first-time buyers and result in even fewer homes being built.”

The country currently has a housing shortage approaching a million homes, with five million people on local authority waiting lists, and home building has fallen to the lowest peacetime levels since the early 1920s.

There are a host of other issues the new CLG team quickly needs to get to grips with, including how to maintain vital public funding for affordable housing and the zero carbon agenda.

HBF has already written to the new Ministerial team to outline what it feels should the new Governments ‘Day 1’ housing and planning priorities.

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0 thoughts on “New Govt must now honour home building pledge

  1. Major Landlord

    Before we swallow any more of this self-serving guff from vested interests like HBF, let’s consider the facts:

    – there are an estimated 500,000-650,000 empty properties in the UK, mostly owned by local councils. That’s a disgrace, and it would be better to bring these back into use before we go mad building even more new homes
    – there are empty properties to rent, and empty properties for sale, at a large number of sales and lettings agents throughout the UK.
    – in most areas, there is no queue of prospective tenants waiting to grab rental properties. Most landlords have voids of up to 6 weeks, and have to show properties to 10 or more applicants before doing a deal
    – the figures on council waiting lists give a grossly distorted picture of true demand. There are many tenants in private rental properties, usually on housing benefit, who are trying to engineer their way into council housing. Once they succeed, they leave behind an empty property that must be re-let. In other words, they are already housed, but just want to change the type of accommodation.
    – the pressure on ALL hosuing stock has eased over the past 12 months, as economic migrants from poorer EU accession states have decided there is no longer so much attraction in the UK, and have returned home. Add the number of Brits who have recently fled the UK after 13 years of Labour Big Brother government and economic mis-management, and that’s even more stock thrown back into the pool.

    I think it’s time the HBF and others who keep ranting about shortages of housing PROVED their claims. Exactly where are all these people? I don’t see them sleeping rough on the streets. And even if they were, they would surely not be the kind of people who could afford to pay the inflated prices consistently charged for newbuild properties. Councils also need to apply some intelligence before they mislead government with innaccurate figures.

    I also think it’s time we stopped allowing major housebuilders to keep grabbing green land, building new houses with inadequate support infrastruture (schools, roads, water supplies etc), throwing up substandard houses that will need demolition in 50 years, charging prices that buyers cannot afford, and pocketing indecent profits.

    We need fewer newbuilds, more refurbishment of existing stock, and better pricing.