On 16 March the BSA launched their discussion document, Housing at the Heart of Government: a Manifesto for change, in a bid to stimulate the debate that is necessary to tackle the failures in the UK housing market
The manifesto lists five key asks of political parties and the next Government which are, essential for a better housing market:
A cross-party 15-year plan bringing together housing and infrastructure
Using money raised from NS&I 65+ Pensioner Bonds to help fund initiatives to provide perpetually affordable homes, along the lines of Community Land Trusts
Double the size of the Custom build, SME builders and offsite construction sectors
Boost the social housing sector - ensuring that Local Authorities and Housing Associations are able to build homes
A Housing Ministry with a Secretary of State in Cabinet able to bring together all necessary departments
Commenting on the launch of the Manifesto, Robin Fieth, Chief Executive of the BSA, said:
“The UK has been underbuilding for years and everything points to a system that no longer works. If we are not determined, things are only going to get worse. We welcome many of the housing initiatives announced by Government and other political parties in the run up to the election. However, what is desperately needed is a long-term housing strategy.
“As mortgage lenders, building societies have and continue to play their part in fulfilling Britain’s aspirations as a nation of home-owners. But housing finance alone will not solve the problem. For many the idea of owning a home is secondary to a secure place to live. We need a huge increase in the momentum of house building across a range of types and tenures if we are to have any hope of bridging the current supply and demand gap.
“From our research we know that Britons are increasingly open to alternative forms of building and diversity in the type of tenures the market can provide. However, little has been done by successive governments to support new initiatives and developments. Now is the time to think outside the box. We need a revolution in the provision of housing – in planning, construction and funding to ensure that we are able to build a better Britain.”
To read Housing at the heart of Government: a Manifesto for change please click here.