Builders organisation the Federation of Master Builders has welcomed the Government’s New Homes Bonus Scheme but says that it is now up to local authorities to deliver the housing needed to tackle the UK’s chronic housing shortage.
Brian Berry, director of external affairs at the FMB said: “It is very encouraging that the Government intends to take swift action to tackle the housing shortage head on. With house building at its lowest level since 1924 and over 4.5 million people on council house waiting lists we have a serious and growing housing crisis. If the New Homes Bonus scheme succeeds in encouraging councils to build in the kinds of numbers that we need to keep up with ever growing demand then it will be a massive achievement.”
However, he pointed out that there is a real danger that councils facing local opposition to new homes being built in their localities will succumb to that opposition and not take advantage of the extra cash.
“Somehow we need to ensure that all councils are persuaded of the merits of building new homes, and that they subsequently provide a sufficient supply of land to enable the house building sector to deliver for the future needs of the local communities they serve.
“We have seen time and time again that communities that do not provide housing which is accessible to the young see them move away and when they go they take the futures of local businesses and services with them.
“A supply of affordable homes is essential to both economic recovery and social cohesion as it allows the young to buy a stake in the community where they were born and provides the justification for keeping local services and local businesses which generate employment open for all to use.”