Building More Homes

BSRIA is in agreement with the recent House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee that we must ‘tackle the housing crisis’ who have stated that government must lift its target by 50% and build 300,000 homes each year. Local authorities and housing associations must be free to build substantial numbers of homes for rent and for sale.

In its report, Building More Homes, the cross-party House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee criticises the government’s housing policy for; setting a new homes target homes which will fail to meet the demand for new homes, restricting local authorities’ access to funding to build more social housing and creating uncertainty in the already dysfunctional housing market by frequent changes to tax rules and subsidies for house purchases, reductions in social rents and the extension of the Right to Buy. All of these changes reduce the supply of homes for those who need low cost rental accommodation.

Julia Evans, chief executive, BSRIA, said: “We are facing a severe crisis with home ownership being simply unaffordable for a lot of society. The only way to address this is to increase supply. We need local government and housing associations to get back into the business of building. This is indeed an issue for the newly appointed construction minister and parliamentary under secretary of state, Jesse Norman MP, to whom BSRIA will be specifically signaling this concern.”

Julia added: “There must be houses for everyone on the housing spectrum, from social housing, to starter homes, growing families and executive housing. This spectrum of housing is needed throughout the country. BSRIA has supported the Right to Buy Scheme which should be used as part of the mix for those who need it to get on the housing ladder.

“Government must also allow local authorities to borrow to build and accelerate building on spare public land.”