'WITH POWER COMES RESPONSIBILITY': Local Authorities must take responsibility for tackling housing crisis – and reap the benefits

26 April, 2011

HBF’s local election manifesto, launched today, outlines the need for local politicians to shoulder the responsibility of tackling the country’s housing crisis and enable the construction of the homes the country needs.

The manifesto underlines the economic benefits of increasing house building to local areas. In total across England house-building could create around 200,000 jobs and £1.2billion of investment from central Government through the New Homes Bonus.

Under the new Localism-based planning system, local councillors are now clearly empowered to determine the provision of housing in their areas. With this power comes responsibility for ensuring that as well as generating economic activity they are meeting their communities’ housing requirements, including for young families and older generations.

Among the measures requested in the manifesto, HBF is asking councillors to pledge to immediately draw up Local Development Plans to ensure a sufficient supply of viable land for housing.

HBF has also called on councillors to work with home builders to reduce the cost, complexity and uncertainty of regulation that is preventing the building of more homes.

Speaking today, Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of HBF said;

“The coalition Government is giving Local Authorities the powers and the responsibility to house the nation. With the lowest levels of house building for 90 years, vast social housing waiting lists alongside an increasing population and the virtual disappearance of the first time buyers, we recognise it’s not an easy job.

“We are asking Local Authorities to take this responsibility seriously, to put viable local plans in place without delay; work with house builders to remove regulation and red tape and enable the industry to build the homes the country needs. In return they will reap the benefits through local economic growth, new jobs created and investment from central Government”

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:

1. The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is the representative body of the home building industry in England and Wales. The HBF’s 300 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

2. Please click here for a copy of the HBF local election manifesto

3. Jobs Calculator:

Each home built creates 1.5 full-time jobs: Labour Needs of Extra Housing Input Professor Michael Ball Increasing house-building by 130,000 units per year (to Government household projection levels) would create 195,000 jobs The HBF estimates twice that number of jobs are created in the supply chain – close to 400,000 jobs.