Housing Association latest news and information.
Modular off-site construction methods hold potential to solve the UK’s crippling housing shortage, according to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME).
A report, entitled “The UK House Building: Manufacturing Affordable Quality Homes” is urging the Government to provide greater incentives for the offsite construction of homes. The report also calls for a reverse of policies which they feel discourage the construction of quality, sustainable housing. The report suggests that greater efforts should be made to diversify the UK house building sector, such as opening up opportunities to self-builders, local authorities and housing associations.
With Brexit yet again hitting the news, how will the delivery of much needed social housing be affected? Joe Bradbury of Housing Association Magazine investigates.
With them impending withdrawal of the UK from the EU looming large, Brexit is once again making the headlines as we rapidly close in on the 29th March 2019 deadline.
This time the crux of the Brexit debate is centred on the potential implications of the UK leaving the EU without any kind of deal in place by this date.
Councils across England will have powers to charge even greater Council Tax premiums on homes left empty for many years following an amendment to a government bill.
Introduced in March, this legislation originally contained provision for councils to double the rate of tax on properties that had been empty for 2 years or more.
The government is now going further and introducing an amendment that would allow councils to triple the council tax on homes left empty for five to 10 years and quadruple it on those empty for more than a decade.
This highlights broader potential failings within the industry and the Government is taking immediate action to address this.
MHCLG began investigating the fire door industry after it was found that a glazed, composite fire door from Grenfell Tower manufactured by Manse Masterdor failed a 30 minute fire resistance test after approximately 15 minutes. Issues were subsequently identified with doors produced by Masterdor Limited (the successor business to Manse Masterdor). Investigations have continued and in the last few days doors from 3 additional manufacturers have failed fire resistance testing when tested on both sides.
Construction SMEs enjoyed rising workloads in the second quarter of 2018, despite continuing concerns over skills shortages and increasing costs, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
Key results from the FMB’s latest State of Trade Survey, which is the only quarterly assessment of the UK-wide SME construction sector, include:
- Construction SME workloads remained positive in Q2 2018 and grew at a faster rate than they did in the first quarter of 2018;
- The construction SME sector has now enjoyed more than five years of consecutive quarterly growth;
- More than three-quarters (76%) of builders reported increasing material prices in Q2 2018;
- Two-thirds (65%) of construction SMEs are struggling to hire bricklayers and 60% are struggling to hire carpenters and joiners;
- More than half (54%) of construction SMEs expect salaries and wages to increase over the next six months.
Rural landowners have warned that the lack of flexibility in new planning rules which prevent a mix of affordable and market homes from being built on special sites in the countryside will severely limit the chances of solving the rural housing crisis.
The Government has published a revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which claims to help build more homes, more quickly in places where people want to live. But according to the CLA which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, changes made to the criteria for Entry Level Exception Sites will now encourage less land being made available for much needed homes in the countryside.
Industry now generating £38bn a year and supporting 700k jobs.
The 74% increase in house building activity in the past four years has provided a huge boost to the UK economy. Research in a new report by planning and development consultancy Lichfields shows that the house building industry in England and Wales is now worth £38bn a year and supports nearly 700,000 jobs. House building activity contributes economically in different ways including providing jobs, tax revenues and contributing funding for local infrastructure and communities. And with Government targeting further increases in supply, the knock-on benefits are set to increase still further.