Home Builders Federation & Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce join forces to launch Housing The Powerhouse Campaign

9 July, 2015

The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and the Home Builders Federation (HBF) have joined forces, supported by some of the UK’s largest developers and property investors, to launch the Housing The Powerhouse campaign.

The Campaign, which is also supported by the UK’s premier business lobbying organisation the CBI, aims to increase the amount of new homes being built across Greater Manchester and prompt a conversation about the importance of housing to Greater Manchester’s burgeoning economy. It also encourages a debate about how Greater Manchester’s thriving technology, manufacturing and logistics sectors can be supported through the planning system.

The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework – a new development plan being produced for the region  – is regarded as a once in a generation opportunity to meet Greater Manchester’s current and future housing needs and support its economic growth.

The ‘Northern Powerhouse’ agenda will see Greater Manchester at the heart of a growing, rebalanced, North of England economy. It has, to date, focused primarily on issues such as transport, employment and skills. Housing The Powerhouse brings together some of the biggest names in the industry in an unprecedented coalition, to encourage a conversation about the role housing can play in the Northern Powerhouse, with a particular focus on Greater Manchester.

The campaign reflects concern that housebuilding targets for Greater Manchester need to be increased if the needs of a growing population and thriving economy are to be met. Research commissioned by the campaign and supported by a new report by the HBF has found that increasing the amount of new homes every year, from the 11,000 proposed by Greater Manchester’s leaders  to the 16,000 that the campaign considers are needed, would have a positive impact on Greater Manchester’s economy.

The HBF’s Economic Footprint of House Building report highlights the full extent of the economic and social benefits of house building in the region. Last year, across the North West, over 60,000 jobs were supported by the housebuilding industry, with 565 graduate and apprentice positions created. Housebuilding activity also produced over £18m in additional Council Tax income for local authorities and contributed £22.7m towards local education budgets.

However, falling short of the number of new homes needed in Greater Manchester risks the future prosperity of the region and threatens its ambitions to be at the heart of a revitalised North of England. Research by leading planning consultancy Barton Willmore and commissioned by the Housing The Powerhouse campaign shows increasing the housing target from the 11,000 proposed at present to around 16,000 would:

Provide enough homes to meet current and future needs, rather than a predicted shortage of around 100,000 homesProvide the type of homes that meet people’s needs, in particular family homesAs a result, ease pressure on local housing markets through greater completion and choice, helping to reduce ‘pricing out’ and assisting with housing affordabilityBoost the supply of affordable housing to help meet the growing waiting list which currently stands at 85,000

By planning for 16,000 homes per year rather than 11,000, the Greater Manchester economy would benefit from an additional:

15,000 construction jobs, generating an additional £8bn in GVA (Gross Value Added)100,000 more families, boosting retail and leisure expenditure by £1.7bn per annum£175m per year in local authority Council Tax receipts

Speaking at the Housing the Powerhouse Campaign launch at MediaCityUK, Matthew Good, of the HBF, said:

“The failure to build enough homes across the UK over the last 30 years has resulted in an acute shortage of housing and a generation priced out of home ownership. In Greater Manchester, there needs to be a focus on providing  more  homes, of all types and sizes, so we can meet the housing needs of our communities.

“House building makes a huge economic and social contribution to our region. As well as providing much-needed new homes, increasing housing supply would provide significant additional benefits for everyone living in the region through additional jobs, investment in infrastructure and facilities for communities.

“Our industry is ready and able to invest in Greater Manchester and welcomes the emerging Spatial Framework. We want Greater Manchester’s leaders to take a positive approach to planning for economic growth and meeting the needs of residents.”

Steve Burne, Vice-President of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said:

“Greater Manchester is at the heart of the Government’s Northern Powerhouse agenda and there are ambitious plans to unlock its economic potential through Devo Manc.

“The Housing The Powerhouse campaign is unprecedented in bringing together some of the UK’s leading housebuilders, developers and investors for a common purpose. Housing is vital in supporting Greater Manchester’s economy and this campaign sends a real message about the positive role that the industry has to play in the region.

“Our politicians now have the tools to deliver strong economic growth and meet the needs of people and business across Greater Manchester. We believe that the GMSF will play a vital part in setting the framework for securing inward investment, ensuring that enough new homes are built to house a growing population and that local businesses can grow.”

Damian Waters, North West Regional Director of the CBI, said:

“A good supply of housing is critical to attracting and retaining the talent needed for Greater Manchester to reach its potential. We welcome Housing the Powerhouse’s efforts to put housing at the forefront of the political agenda.”

More information on Housing The Powerhouse can be found at the dedicated website www.housingthepowerhouse.com, where people can find out more about the campaign and pledge their support for building more homes.

The HBF’s Economic Footprint of House Building report can be downloaded here.  

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Notes to editors

Housing The Powerhouse is a campaign led by the Home Builders Federation and backed by housebuilders, developers and investors, including: Ainscough Strategic Land; Barratt Developments; Bloor Homes; Gladman Developments; HIMOR Group; Jones Homes; The Emerson Group/Orbit Developments; The Peel Group; and Taylor Wimpey.

The campaign is backed by Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The figures above are from the Home Builders Federation’s Economic Footprint of House Building report and from research carried out by Barton Willmore on behalf of the Housing The Powerhouse campaign. The full Barton Willmore report can be downloaded at www.housethepowerhouse.com.

For further information on the Housing The Powerhouse campaign, please contact Tom Arnold at Lexington Communications on 0161 711 0312 or tom.arnold@lexcomm.co.uk

For enquiries on the Home Builders Federation, contact Steve Turner on 020 7960 1606 or steve.turner@hbf.co.uk