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Media

04 September, 2012

New Minister has a lot on his plate and must address the constraints on housing delivery

The house building industry today welcomed Mark Prisk as the new housing minister but warned him that the acute housing crisis with which we are faced means he needs to hit the ground running.

The task facing the new minister is a daunting one.

  • We are building fewer homes than at any point since the 1920’s and well under half what is needed
  • 5M people are on housing waiting lists; whilst FTB no’s have plummeted

Prisk needs to find ways of addressing the main constraints on building namely

  • A severe lack of mortgage credit and development finance
  • A lack of viable, developable land with planning permissions and concerns about the implementation of the National Planning Policy Framework
  • A regulatory cost burden which is preventing development across the country

As a matter of urgency there are several immediate steps the new Minister should consider:

  • Maintaining funding for the effective shared equity scheme Firstbuy that has been responsible for 10000 new homes and sales
  • Action to increase the supply of mortgage finance to home-buyers. NewBuy will help but more is needed.
  • Working with Local Authorities to ensure they are taking responsibility for planning sustainably for the future of, and creating economic growth and jobs in their areas by identifying and providing enough land for the homes their communities need.
  • Urgent and radical action on the Government’s commitment to cut regulatory costs

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman, HBF said:

“We welcome Mark Prisk to the role. Whilst he has an unenviable intray, it is clear that he understands the scale of the job in front of him with his background in the sector.

“We hope he will offer some radical ideas to transform the current housing and planning systems and tackle the housing crisis, providing economic growth and jobs, and strengthening communities across the country.  In his previous role he undertook some positive work to reduce regulation, a commitment his Government has also made with regards to housing and something we hope he will now deliver on.

“We developed an extremely close working relationship with Grant Shapps and look forward to doing the same with him and together tackling the issues with which we are faced.”

For media enquiries, or to arrange an interview, please contact Steve Turner on 020 7960 1606 / 07919 307 760 or steve.turner@hbf.co.uk

Notes to Editors: 

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is the representative body of the home building industry in England and Wales. HBF’s members account for some 80% of all new homes built in England and Wales in any one year, and include companies of all sizes, ranging from multi-national, household names through regionally based businesses to small local companies: www.hbf.co.uk