Homebuilders urge action on housing
Industry calls on First Minister to deliver on pledges
HBF, the voice of the home building industry in England and Wales, is today calling on the new Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford to deliver on the promises made during his campaign. Welcoming the appointment, the industry is urging the Minister to focus on housing policy and create an environment within which it can tackle the acute housing crisis in Wales.
Last month HBF wrote to the Welsh Assembly to reinforce calls for a Cabinet Secretary for Housing, Planning and Building Control in the event of a reshuffle following the appointment of the new First Minister.
The Welsh Government has highlighted the importance of housing, as shown by its inclusion as one of the five priority areas identified in the ‘Prosperity for All’ national strategy. Also contained within the Strategy is a requirement for “the coordinated planning of new homes. Drakeford’s manifesto spoke about the need for appointing someone in the role of Cabinet Secretary for Housing, along with a number of other local housing issues. HBF is now calling for words to be turned into action.
The supply of new homes in Wales fell last year, down 2% to 6,663 compared to an estimated need for 8 -12,000 new homes each year. Compared to England, where housing supply has risen by over 75% in the past five years, builders have struggled to deliver increases in Wales where a more bureaucratic environment is thwarting growth.
Speaking today, Mark Harris, Planning and Policy Advisor Wales at HBF said; “Wales is facing an acute housing crisis that can only be addressed with intervention from Government. If we can create an environment which encourages businesses to invest and grow we can not only solve the social and health problems caused by our housing shortage but also create jobs and give the economy a boost.
“We welcome the appointment of Mark Drakeford and fully support his calls for a
Cabinet Secretary for Housing. Such an appointment would help ensure housing policy is at the very top of Government’s priority list. We look forward to working with him to tackle the housing crisis in Wales.”