Left unresolved, the UK’s housing crisis will continue to be a drag on prosperity, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has asserted.
Launching their new report, No Place Like Home, the CBI say the UK’s enduring housing crisis is one of the biggest challenges we face as a country, with a growing number of people locked out of an increasingly unaffordable market, and feeling that the system isn’t working.
This is not just a social problem – it is a critical business issue too, with many firms reporting that a lack of affordable homes is undermining their ability to recruit and retain staff and hitting productivity.
“It is clear that addressing the housing crisis is high on the political agenda, with the government setting a welcome ambition to deliver 1 million new homes by 2020, accompanied by several policy initiatives. Yet even with these efforts, it remains unclear how the government’s goal will be met. Therefore, a stepchange is needed, both in mind-set and delivery, where the solutions can be found through a series of targeted interventions which, together, can have a big impact. But to achieve this, we need a clear and credible plan which is strategic, integrated and joined-up,” the report states.
The report also calls for diversity and innovation both in the homes we build and how they are built.
“In devising its plan, the government must recognise that carrying on with business as usual is not an option. Delivering new homes at a much greater scale will require a new way of thinking, both in terms of the types of homes we deliver, and how we deliver them. Britain is a diverse nation, and we need to make sure we are building a range of different homes in the right places to suit different people’s needs and aspirations and creating vibrant new communities not simply new units. Equally, we must encourage a diverse range of players and new entrants into the market in order to enhance building capacity, underpinned by greater innovation – already evident, for example, in areas like off-site manufacturing – which will be crucial in boosting supply.”
Coupled with this, the government and political parties need to retain focus in removing the barriers which blight the industry’s ability to deliver new homes to the market.
CBI Deputy Director-General, Josh Hardie, says in his foreword to the report, “For too long, solving the UK’s housing crisis has been in the ‘too hard to tackle’ box. This will only change through a concerted and collaborative effort from both government and industry. Only through a shared vision, underpinned by a cooperative approach to delivery, will business and Government be able to supply the homes needed to drive growth and prosperity across the country. Now is the time to redouble efforts to make this change a reality and make the system work for everyone.”