The Federation of Master Builders, the largest trade association in the building industry, has questioned one of David Cameron’s key election pledges.
It follows the Prime Minister’s pledge to build 100,000 new homes for young first time buyers, a policy statement the FMB described as “a welcome step to help address the housing crisis”, but it added: “who will build them?”
Responding to the Mr Cameron’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference, Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, outlined a series of questions about the housing pledge.
He said: “ The Prime Minster has quite rightly placed housing on an equal footing with health and education, but 100,000 new homes is still too few when we need to be building 240,000 new homes every year.”
Berry continued: “Critically it is not clear how these new homes for first time buyers will be delivered. What we need to be seeing is more of a drive to support local house building companies to build the homes in the places that local people want to live. Unfortunately, the number of local house builders has declined rapidly over the last twenty years, with the result that just 27 per cent of all new homes are built by local house building companies.”
Berry concluded: “The Prime Minister’s commitment to new housing needs to be supported by a range of delivery measures to help local house builders compete in the market. Improved access to finance and the availability of more smaller parcels of land for development would do much to help local house builders and so help create the communities that housing alone cannot deliver.”