Autumn statement 'must boost housebuilding'

Published:  28 November, 2012

LONDON: The Home Builders Federation has urged the chancellor George Osborne to announce major initiatives to boost housebuilding in next Wednesday's autumn statement.

In its submission to government ahead of the autumn statement, the federation has highlighted six priorities:

  • Work with lenders to make NewBuy mortgages more widely available and more affordable
  • Expand the definition of 'affordable housing' so private developers can build many more homes without public subsidy
  • Ensure the financial demands levied by local authorities on housebuilding sites are realistic - and don't make sites unviable and impossible to develop
  • Monitor local authorities to make sure they have taken their new planning responsibilities seriously by putting in place viable local plans that allow home builders to meet the country's housing needs over the next 10-15 years
  • Remove unnecessary planning obstacles to housing development, such as unreasonable lists of planning conditions
  • Expand - and increase the flexibility of - the 'Get Britain Building' scheme designed to open up mothballed housing sites

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation said: "This is a critical opportunity for the government to demonstrate once again its commitment to increase housing supply and boost the economy.

"Over the past year it has introduced a range of positive measures, but more needs to be done to refine those schemes and address other obstacles to home building.

"To drive through real change, increase housing supply and reap the social and economic benefits of more new homes, ministers need to dare to be radical.

"As well as providing desperately needed homes, house building can be a crucial driver in creating jobs and investment. By tackling the record low build levels and our current housing crisis we would create tens of thousands of jobs."

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