Measures to tackle the current housing crisis need to be top of the list for all the main political parties moving forward, says the Federation of Master Builders.
Richard Diment director-general said: “We have a housing crisis in this country with thousands of people unable to secure an affordable home and nearly five million people on social housing waiting lists. It’s a national disgrace which the main political parties need to be address as they spell out their policies for what they would do if they form the next Government.
He continued: “House building has plummeted to its lowest level since 1946 and the signs are not optimistic that the situation will improve. What we need is a complete review of the barriers that currently prevent potential house builders entering the housing market including the amount of money developers have to pay to build new homes . The introduction of a new tariff system to replace existing contributions to local authorities through Section 106 agreements as well as the newly introduced Community Infrastructure Levy would be a great start.”
He said that there are currently 800,000 empty homes across the UK, 288,000 of which have been empty for more than six months, all of which need to be brought back into use and that politicians need to be much more imaginative in thinking about how we can use existing buildings to create more homes.
“Cutting the rate of VAT to repair many of these would not only create more homes but provide a much needed fiscal stimulus to boost both the building industry as well as the wider economy. A VAT rate of 5% to repair homes would create 24,000 new jobs in the construction sector in 2010 alone as well create a wider fiscal stimulus for the economy of £1.4 billion.”