General election must address housing crisis, says FMB

New report calls for all political parties to make house building a national infrastructure policy.

HousingFirst

The need to build more homes should be a key priority for all political parties in the run up to the General Election, says the Federation of Mater Builders (FMB).

As outlined in its Programme for Government report, FMB is calling on each electoral campaign to make housebuilding a national infrastructure priority, along with 11 other key policy areas.

These include a commitment to:

Housing

  • Make house building a national infrastructure priority and build 1.5 million new homes
  • Free up more public land for housing and break it up into small plots for small builders
  • Invest in local authority planning departments to speed up the planning process

Skills

  • Promote vocational education and invest in Further Education
  • Reform the UK Apprenticeship Levy so it works better for small companies
  • Introduce a fair and balanced post-Brexit immigration system

Quality

  • Licence all UK construction companies
  • Introduce mandatory warranties for building control-approved work
  • Create a new ‘General Builder’ qualification

Net Zero Carbon

  • Create a National Retrofit Strategy
  • Invest in upskilling builders to build and upgrade homes fit for the future
  • Cut VAT on home improvement work to 5%

As reported by 24housing, a recent YouGov poll revealed only 14% of the British public deemed housing as a top priority in the run to the election – a 3% decrease on the same survey in May 2017.

On today’s report, Brian Berry, CEO of the FMB, said: “In this Brexit election the main political parties mustn’t lose sight of the big issues facing the UK such as the current housing crisis.

“We are still not building enough new homes, and this has led to an affordability crisis and over-crowding.

“This election is an opportunity for all parties to publish ambitious plans to turn this situation around. Small builders stand ready to help the new government not only to build more new homes but also make our existing homes more energy efficient.”

He added: “Small building companies will also be instrumental in helping the future government tackle other major challenges facing the UK, from helping to tackle the climate crisis to helping to building the hospitals and schools of the future.

“Our Programme for Government gives 12 clear policies for each of the political parties to adopt to support SME builders.

“Politicians must not only give the country the gift of resolving Brexit this Christmas, but also a vision for the future of our built environment.”

Access the full report here.

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