FMB backs government's council housebuilding approach

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has welcomed the government’s new measures to support council housebuilding.

On Wednesday (4th October) at the Conservative Party conference, Prime Minister Theresa May announced the investment of an additional £2bn of government funding in affordable housing.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “Despite the prime minister’s precarious political position since the general election, Theresa May has today managed to take a braver and bolder stance on housebuilding than any prime minister of recent years.

“The private sector will continue to expand the number of new homes it builds, particularly so if the government succeeds in its aim of removing barriers that hold back small-scale housebuilders.

“However, in the housebuilding heyday of the 1950/60s, a healthy private sector was always complemented by significant levels of social housebuilding.

“Indeed, we have only ever built at the level we need to keep pace with demand when both the private and public housebuilding sectors have been firing on all fronts.”

Brian added that the prime minister’s plan was an opportunity to help shape a stronger local housebuilding industry.

He suggested that if councils started to engage with SME builders to deliver council housing, it could further help to diversify the industry.

“This would also boost the capacity of the private sector through the provision of more public sector work.

“Indeed, the increased use of small- and medium-sized building firms will limit the problem of land banking, as this is something small builders simply don’t do.”

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