HFI calls for a new government housing approach

The government will not be able to deliver its target of 300,000 new homes a year without a radical new approach, according to an industry body.

The Housing & Finance Institute (HFI) has set out a three-part strategy designed to speed up housebuilding:

  • make housing a specific national infrastructure priority 

  • support housebuilders and ensure that quality and quantity is delivered, including a focus on modular housing and state-of-the-art manufacturing

  • introduce a step-change in financing to bring public and private finance together to support housebuilding.

The HFI works with both private and public sector partners to encourage faster housebuilding.

 It said the sector was not confident it could deliver the new homes required unless there was a major change in the way the government supported the industry.

Natalie Elphicke, chief executive of the Housing & Finance Institute, said: “The ambition of the government is to be applauded.

“But make no mistake, 300,000 new homes is a truly tough target.”

The last time this figure was achieved was 1969, the year of the Moon landing.

In discussions with the housebuilding industry in the second half of 2017, the HFI found that sentiment continued to be positive regarding building and growth.

“But the view is very much ‘steady as she goes’ rather than gearing up for a major shift in delivery numbers,” Natalie added.

“Following the government’s Autumn Budget, sentiment remained the same, suggesting that the current higher levels of housebuilding are sustainable, but that a giant leap forward is not currently forecast.

“Housing-based infrastructure has been creaking at the current rates of delivery and simply isn’t ready to deliver at nearly double current rates.

“Much more needs to be done, and soon.

“Government needs to activate the rocket boosters if it has a chance of getting to its new target.”

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