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BSRIA supports housing scheme

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World Cement,

BISRIA has shown its support for the government initiative of getting people on the housing ladder, following this week’s announcement that 13 000 homes will be commissioned on public land in 2016.

Smaller developers will be able to buy sites in England with planning permission in place, and 40% of new builds are to be starter homes aimed at first-time buyers. Direct commissioning means that the government will be able to assume responsibility for developing land, instead of being dominated by large building firms – the largest eight of whom account for 50% of the house building market. There is therefore a need to involve smaller and medium-sized companies.

Julia Evans, Chief Executive, BSRIA, said: “We understand that government is ‘pulling out all the stops to get the country building’ by directly commissioning the building of up to 13,000 homes on public land, but we hope that this announcement is not rhetoric to hide government failure on new homes. The figure stated is a small percentage of the number of homes actually needed. We know that 90 per cent of people aspire to own their own home, and for many years now home ownership has been in decline.

The availability of small sites is the single biggest barrier to SME house builders increasing their productivity. Any measures that government can introduce that will increase the number of small sites suitable for SME house builders will help address the housing shortfall. It is heartening that most of these sites already have planning permission in place as this can be a long-winded process. Cutting out this time delay should help the house building supply chain.

A perennial issue is who is going to build these essential houses as we still have a construction skills and labour shortage? This is especially the case in such industry SME companies that will be particularly struggling for skilled employees.”

Adapted from press release by

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