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  • Nicky Frost

New Working Group calls on Government to unlock 130,000 new homes.

There have been calls for the Government to increase affordable housing by a new working group, and to unlock 130,000 homes over the next five years. 

NaCSBA has joined forces with the Federation of Master Builders, the UK Cohousing Network, and the National Community Land Trust Network to form a new working group, Housing Diversification. It is requesting the Government provides more support to the broad sector that they, as a group, represent.

Housing Diversification’s message is clear, in that the housing sector needs diversity in order to Build Back Better”. To do this the group is calling for substantive government action, starting with a dedicated task force to examine the issues that limit growth. The proposals include:

  • The creation of a new government task force to examine the issues that inhibit housing growth

  • Government commitment to a five-year renewal of the Community Housing Fund (which had promised to deliver up to 100,000 new homes in England, but was not renewed in the Spring Budget)

  • Creating a robust and statutory system of reporting on diversification as part of Government housing statistics.

"The government’s housing ambitions cannot only rely upon volume housebuilders, says Housing Diversification, a new action group. It is calling on Government to deliver on its commitment to support a much wider range of routes to housing development and to boost the number of small-to-medium (SME) housebuilders who deliver them."

The group is proposing that a new, high-level Housing Diversification Taskforce be created to support greater housing diversity. This is crucial, as currently, volume housebuilders and the housing association sector deliver the majority of England’s housing, and yet together they are not able to deliver on Government’s ambitions for 300,000 homes per year.

The number of SME housebuilders halved following the last recession, and we must avoid a repeat of this as we scale up housing delivery in 2021. Currently, the SME sector, comprising small housebuilders, community-led housing and custom and self build, is delivering a minimum of 20,000 homes annually, but it has the potential to deliver significantly more housing – up to 130,000 extra homes by 2025*. These homes are sustainable, beautiful, innovative, of high quality, support local economies, and provide training and employment.

NaCSBA reports that custom and self-build delivers 14,000 homes annually - and roughly 50% of SME housebuilder output is custom and self build - but this could rise to 73,500 homes per year by 2025 if the government supports the new Housing Diversification proposals. 

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