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Firmer Foundations: 10 practical policies to ease the housing crisis

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) releases a 10-point plan of practical solutions for government to barriers to building.
Stewart Baseley image


Following its audit report, Housing Horizons, showing that England is the hardest place in the developed world to find a home, the industry body has produced a charter which sets out how to radically improve the supply of high-quality new homes.

With no detail in the King’s Speech on how the government intends tackle the housing crisis, today’s plan, Firmer Foundations, outlines what action ministers could take before the next election without needing new legislation.

It provides a blueprint to radically improve the supply of high-quality new homes, while also supporting SME home builders and securing the industry’s future workforce and its path to Net Zero.

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said:  “Governments of all colours over decades have failed to tackle systemic issues in our housing and planning system which have led to England becoming the hardest place in the developed world to find a home.

“The King’s Speech represented another missed opportunity to increase housing supply in this country, with nothing to address the disproportionate burden of nutrient neutrality placed on new build homes.

“Major legislative change, while needed, would take time to come into effect. Given the urgency of the country’s housing crisis we’ve laid out practical steps Ministers can and should implement now to address the barriers impacting housing supply and make sure more people have access to decent homes.”

Despite some improvements in levels of home building in recent years, people across the country still struggle to find decent homes which they can afford to rent or buy.

The plan shows how properly resourcing local authority planning departments, revising the rules around nutrient neutrality, and abolishing stamp duty on more energy-efficient homes could unlock development.

Home builders are also calling for measures which would tackle some of the long-term challenges facing the sector, including reforming post-16 skills education to better meet the needs of business, and making planning policy more favourable to small and medium size developers.

If implemented, this plan would make a decisive contribution to overcoming systemic issues facing the housing sector and give people all over the country a chance of finding a good quality, affordable home.


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