Politicians urged to prioritise housing policy and reap the economic benefits- including 25k new jobs
Building the homes Wales desperately needs could create over 25,000 jobs and provide a huge economic boost to the country, a new report released today reveals. As we enter election year and the campaign gathers momentum, the report urges politicians to prioritise increased housing supply and let Welsh communities reap the benefits.
‘Building communities, Boosting the Economy’, from the Home Builders Federation, shows that if housing supply was increased from the current level, which has averaged under 6,000 a years since 2011, to 11,600 p/a – the number needed to be built every year to meet the needs of Wales’ population - an extra 25,112 jobs would be created. In addition, because of the other contributions that house builders make to communities and local authorities, increasing output to this level could;
Generate up to £9.4m in education funding – enough to fund 2,219 school placesProvide £5.5m for sports facilities/open spaces/leisure centresRaise to £7.5m in extra council tax revenue
Building on the very positive recent announcement by Welsh Government on the extension of the Help to Buy – Wales scheme, the report identifies four key policy areas that politicians could focus on to boost supply. These are:
Ensuring local authority planning departments are dealing with planning applications in a timely and efficient wayEncouraging local authorities to put an up to date local development plan in placeReducing onerous regulatory costs on housing developments which are significantly higher than elsewhere in the UK and are freezing out many builders, in particular smaller onesIncreasing competition in the affordable housing sector to boost such supply.
Commenting on the release, Stewart Baseley, executive chairman at HBF, said:
“Wales is facing an acute housing crisis that is deepening by the year. People are finding it increasingly difficult to get a decent home, leaving young people stuck with their parents and families in unsuitable temporary accommodation.
“Building the homes Wales needs will not only help address the social impact of years of housing undersupply but also provide a huge economic boost. If we built the number of homes needed over 25,000 jobs would be created in Wales, in addition to millions of pounds for infrastructure, schools and leisure facilities.
“Politicians must act and address the reasons why more homes are not being built in Wales. The Welsh Government needs to build on the very positive Help to Buy extension and introduce further pro development policies if the industry is to stand a chance of lifting build rates. Central Government needs to do more to ensure Local Authorities are abiding by their responsibilities and not acting as constraints on development.
“As we enter the election campaign for real, politicians of all colours need to be debating what is a key issue for communities the length and breadth of Wales”.
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Notes to Editors:
The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is the principal representative body for private sector home builders and voice of the home building industry in England and Wales. HBF member firms 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