Howard Chapman, Buildingtalk Editor, supports Communities Secretary Sajid Javid call to ‘invest in the future’ of our social infrastructure and really tackle the housing crisis by building hundreds of thousands of new affordable homes.
At the weekend, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid – Buildingtalk’s very own local MP – boosted prospects for housebuilding when he called on the government to borrow big time to fund the building of hundreds of thousands of new affordable homes.
There have been rumours that he has asked the Chancellor, Philip Hammond to go much further than Prime Minister May’s recent damp squib announcement of a £2bn fund, perhaps for him to find as much as £50bn to create a social housing revolution. With interest rates so low it maybe the last opportunity for a generation to ‘invest in the future’ of our social infrastructure and really tackle the housing crisis.
Last year the NHBC, the UK’s leading independent standard setter and provider of warranty and insurance for new homes, said that though there had been some growth in house building, it was no real solution to the chronic long-term under-supply of new homes across the UK.
John Stewart, the Director of Economic Affairs at the Home Builders Federation, has argued that the 250k homes target for the next 4 years is not happening, and will not happen unless there is a paradigm shift in how we build homes. He suggested that Brexit will, unfortunately, result in slower growth and exacerbate the problem.
We will have the latest results from the NHBC on Buildingtalk tomorrow and I’m sure the situation will not have improved much.
In my Blog at the time ( New home growth is not enough to meet UK needs) I said that building new homes on a scale that would meet the needs the growing population would be economically very beneficial.
With a £50bn fund, we could create a paradigm shift in house building involving Local Authorities, charities, housing associations, major employers such as the NHS, and concerned local people groups. The focus should be on producing new affordable homes to rent.
New entrepreneurial, not-for-profit developers can also explore offsite build opportunities, working in partnership with concerned architecture practices and UK contractors to develop ways of modular manufactured building that also involves training a new generation of skilled workers.
Sajid Javid has launched an eight-week review of housing, in which he has called on the industry to offer solutions to the home-buying and selling process. Why not Tweet your comment via @sajidjavid and add #BuildMoreHomes or use the link below to add your comment via Buildingtalk.
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