Sunday, February 25, 2024

Strategic shift required for tackling UK housing crisis

A shift in strategy has been suggested by business leaders to tackle UK’s housing crisis.

Need for a ‘step change’

Business leaders have suggested a ‘step change’ in housebuilding by the government for meeting its target of delivering one million new homes by 2020. Terming the crisis in the housing market as an ‘acute problem’ for businesses as well as society, the CBI asked for an “ambitious new way of thinking”. Although, the CBI lauded the government for its “bold steps” such as Help to Buy and Home Building Fund to handle the housing crisis, it cited lack of affordable homes as a factor which is hampering firms’ ability to recruit and retain talented staff. It said that long commute is affecting workers’ productivity adversely.

Requirement for small and medium size housebuilding firms

The government is being urged to offer help to small and medium size housebuilding firms and access to easy finance for meeting the country’s housing challenge as the population is expected to grow by 10 million in the next 25 years.

According to Josh Hardie, CBI deputy director-general, “Solving the UK’s housing shortage has long been a tough nut to crack. For Britain’s businesses, it is far from something confined to the news columns. It’s a problem the impacts of which are seen every day, from high prices barring people moving home and deterring them from applying or staying in a job, to the dent it puts in productivity.

“A quiet revolution in the way business and the government think about, provide and deliver housing is necessary if we are to reach the welcome target of one million new homes by 2020.”

Hardie believes that as the demographic landscape changes, new types of homes are needed to fit the needs of people who live in them, creating vibrant and attractive communities. For this, Hardie says, market players “like small housebuilders” are required.

“A flexible approach, underpinned by government working with business, will enable us to deliver the homes we sorely need, and which will drive productivity, boost growth and increase prosperity in every corner of the country”, continued Hardie.

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