Houses in England with typical red bricks on a sunny day

House building industry sets out how the next Government can tackle the housing crisis

HBF launches housing policy ‘blueprint’ for growth, prosperity and opportunity

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) has today (Thursday 6 June) published a plan detailing its asks of the next government.

The plan, titled ‘Homebuilding: An engine for growth, prosperity and opportunity’, highlights the challenges facing the house building industry and sets out the measures it believes are crucial to addressing the nation’s housing crisis.

As housing supply continues to plummet and the nation’s housing crises worsens, home builders are contending with a complex and cumbersome planning system, widespread and disproportionate moratoriums across a quarter of the country due to nutrient neutrality, customers unable to access affordable mortgage lending and an uncertain policy environment. This combination has resulted in housing supply and industry confidence falling sharply and builders unable to get spades in the ground and build homes at anywhere near the pace and scale required.

HBF’s blueprint for the next government outlines the priority policies of the industry, organised into five clear themes:

  • Housing the nation: Homes to meet the country’s needs – including calls for a new, targeted first-time buyer scheme, action to resolve uncontracted section 106 units, a requirement for local planning authorities (LPAs) to assess the demand for housing of older people, the expansion of green mortgages and the abolishment of stamp duty for the purchase of homes with an A or B EPC.
  • Increasing housing supply: Establishing a clearer and more certain policy landscape including calls to reinstate mandatory housing targets and the Five Year Housing Land Supply, reform of the Standard Method of Housing Need, the introduction of a 10-year plan for housing and a review of the green belt.
  • Fixing the Planning process: Tackling the systemic issues hindering delivery – including calls to ringfence planning application fees for planning purposes, increase the threshold for reserved matters submissions to be determined by committee, introduce a presumption of favour of development of small sites, and accelerate of the implementation of National Development Management policies.
  • Unblocking the housing pipeline: Finding a resolution to nutrient neutrality – including calls to bring forward legislation to unblock 160,000 homes currently on hold due to Natural England’s disproportionate mitigations, for Government to work with Natural England to review its nutrient mitigation calculator, extend planning permissions for sites currently on hold due to the issue, and require water companies to account for how they spend developer fees and invest in their networks.
  • Greener growth: Building blocks for high quality, greener homes – including calls to develop a roadmap for the talent pipeline needed to deliver low-carbon, sustainable housing, publish the outcome and implement the recommendations of the Industrial Training Board review, reform of the Apprenticeship Levy, and implement the Competition and Market Authorities’ recommendation for a single mandatory industry consumer code and access to the New Homes Ombudsman for all new build buyers.

Neil Jefferson, Managing Director at the Home Builders Federation says:

“Today we present a blueprint for how the next Government can deliver on its housing ambitions. Amidst an acute housing crisis house building is falling, deepening social divides, costing jobs and damaging economies up and down the country.

“If politicians grasp the nettle and introduce positive policy changes house builders are ready to deliver.

“The causes of the housing crisis are many and varied, but inevitably the consequences are fewer opportunities for young people and a more divided society. The election presents an opportunity to fundamentally tackle this growing emergency

“Building the homes needed would give the country a huge economic boost, create tens of thousands of jobs and help provide the high quality, energy efficient housing our population needs.”

The full policy asks are available to read and download at HBF.co.uk/policy/general-election-manifesto

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