Homes England have unveiled a blueprint to combat the nation’s chronic shortage of housing.
The plan for 2018/2019 to 2022/2023 is centred around building more affordable, quality homes in areas where they are needed the most by unlocking land, improving construction, and supporting smaller builders.
Homes England is a government organisation assigned to speeding up house building. The Government wants to deliver 300,000 new homes per year by the mid-2020s. Recent figures show the number of new build homes in the UK is at its highest for over a decade, which is a positive start to reaching this housing goal, and Homes England hopes to continue this progress.
Nick Walkley, Home England’s chief executive commented: “We will use our land, money, powers and influence to increase the pace, scale and quality of delivery. This will accelerate the delivery of new homes in areas of greatest demand and help to create great places.”
Unlocking land and investments
With the UK’s housing shortage, Homes England plans to unlock public and private land where the private sector can’t. The Land Assembly Fund of £1.03 billion will be put towards this, allowing more new homes to be built where they’re needed.
Additionally, Homes England wants to attract investments that will increase the delivery of homes. The Housing Infrastructure Fund of £5.5 billion and partnerships with private financiers will bring forward additional land for development.
“We desperately need more homes in the right places, where people want to live,” Sir Edward Lister, chairman of Homes England, stated.
“In the next five years we will need to make significant changes to the way we deliver homes. Ultimately, we need to disrupt the housing market.”
Construction productivity and market resiliency
The construction industry is facing challenges involving productivity, materials, and a need for more construction workers. Modern methods of construction have the potential to increase productivity and pace of delivery, in addition to improving quality. Homes England plans to support the development and uptake of the modern methods of construction and encourage its more widespread use.
In order to create a more resilient market, the organisation will also help and support smaller builders and new entrants in the homebuilding market. Currently, this sector is made up of a small number of major housebuilders, and the lack of competition has caused low levels of innovation. As some believe developers need incentives to hit building targets and construct more affordable houses, Homes England plans to support builders and developers in order to open up more affordable options in the housing market.
Walkley concluded: “Our job is to work in partnership with all players in the sector and beyond. This plan is our invitation to you – across construction, design, development, housing associations, local government and other partners. We welcome partners who share our ambition to challenge traditional norms and build better homes faster.”