The Liberal Democrats’ pledge to build 300,000 new homes needs to be underpinned by a pro-SME housing strategy if it has any hope of being achieved, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “The Lib Dem’s 300,000 new homes target is the most ambitious yet. If we are to reach anywhere near that level of house building, we would finally be keeping pace with the demand for housing while also starting to address the backlog. Sadly, this hasn’t happened for several decades. The last time we built over 200,000 new homes was in 1988.”
The introduction of 15 year local plans would help, according to Berry, but said the Lib Dems must reinvigorate the SME house building sector through greater access to small sites and improved access to finance.
Berry concluded: “The intension to create at least ten new garden cities could help increase housing delivery, but it is crucial that the procurement processes for these projects do not shut out SMEs. A balanced and diverse house building industry, which can attract more small firms back into the sector, is essential for a sustainable industry that can develop what is required over the next 15 years and beyond.”