The Labour Party’s proposal for a publicly funded national house building programme would need to put local builders at the centre of its plans, according to the Federation of Master Builders.
Brian Berry, FMB Chief Executive, said: “The Labour Party’s target of at least 100,000 publicly funded social homes per year would help the country get closer to the required 240,000 new homes per year which are needed in England alone.
“However, it’s crucial that Labour’s housing policies recognise that smaller developers will be vital in delivering the volume of new housing needed, and that they include practical ways to boost SME capacity. Alongside the decline in significant levels of publicly funding house building programmes since the 1980s, we’ve also seen a decline in the small local house builders.
“It’s local builders which train the vast majority of construction apprentices. Local firms plough money back into the local economy and are able to provide consumers with real choice when it comes to new homes.
“We would stress that Labour’s proposal to lift the borrowing cap on local authorities is a sensible one. If councils are allowed to borrow against their assets and invest in house building, it would empower them to once again launch significant local house building programmes and help solve our ever worsening housing crisis.
“We look forward to inputting to the newly announced Redfern Review of housing so we can help the Labour Party develop sensible solutions to the housing crisis.”