Is solving the housing crisis once again becoming a Government priority? 

Addressing the policy conference of the Home Builders Federation (HBF), Housing Secretary James Brokenshire recently set out what the Government is doing to tackle the housing shortage and improve the quality of new homes.

Housing crisis

Brokenshire emphasised:

  • the need to reduce planning delays
  • increase the capability of local planning departments
  • improve procedure to accelerate the end-to-end planning process and
  • planning reform

These points undoubtedly rang true with housing professionals; the National Federation of Builders (NFB) welcomed Brokenshire’s speech, particularly since it seems to suggest that housing may be returning as a priority for the Government.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said “The housing crisis is the greatest challenge to social equality that we have in the UK. The Government must prioritise it. By building more and understanding how we physically get more quality homes built, we can make really positive changes to our communities.”

Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing and planning policy at the House Builders Association, added “When ministers utter the words, planning reform, the industry gets quite excited. Getting permission to build is a painful, slow and desperate process, especially for SMEs. Reforming it will go a long way to helping solve the housing and skills crisis.”