Membership body calls for quick changes to planning, housing targets and stamp duty ahead of Wednesday’s fiscal event
The Home Builders Federation has called on the government to make changes to planning, housing targets and stamp duty ahead of Wednesday’s Autumn Statement.
The HBF has today published its ‘Ten-point plan’ to boost the supply of “new high-quality homes” across the country.
The plan includes ‘practical steps’ which HBF believes the government can carry out quickly without the need for major legislation.
It wants planning authorities to be required to have up-to-date local plans, a presumption in favour of development on small sites and a statutory duty on planners to meet older people’s housing needs.
It is calling for the government to work with industry to revise nutrient neutrality rules and for the ‘standard method formula, which is used to calculate housing need to be revised “to ensure that new housing is delivered in a proportionate way across the whole country.”
Abolishing stamp duty for all homes with an EPC rating of B or more should also be considered, says HBF.
It is also calling for the reforms to the Construction Industry Training Board by reforming its levy to include ‘key occupations’ for industry.
The ten policies proposed by the HBF
1. Use the increases in planning fees to sufficiently resource planning departments, who have seen real terms funding cut by over half since 2010.
2. Require local authorities to have up-to-date local plans that meet local housing need.
3. Work with industry to revise rules around nutrient neutrality and end the disproportionate impact on developers.
4. Make the Construction Industry Training Board fit for purpose by reforming the CITB levy to include key occupations for the industry.
5. Focus post-16 education on employers’ needs.
6. Introduce a presumption in favour of development on small sites of up to 25 homes on brownfield land, as part of the planned changes to the National Planning Policy Framework.
7. Reform the Standard Method to ensure that new housing is delivered in a proportionate way across the whole country.
8. Strengthen the statutory duty on local planning decision makers to accord special attention to the need to plan for housing for older people in their housing needs assessments.
9. Abolish stamp duty for all purchases of homes with an EPC rating of B or above.
10. Facilitate a roundtable with government, industry and lenders to explore the possible expansion of green/energy efficient mortgages.
Stewart Baseley, executive chair of the HBF, said the King’s Speech earlier this month “represented another missed opportunity to increase housing supply in this country”.
He said: “Major legislative change, while needed, would take time to come into effect.
“Given the urgency of the country’s housing crisis we’ve laid out practical steps Ministers can and should implement now to address the barriers impacting housing supply and make sure more people have access to decent homes.”
Meanwhile affordable housing sector bodies have called on the government to reform welfare,
The G15 group of housing associations in London last week called on the government to use the Autumn Statement to “prioritise struggling households”.
It wants an end to the freeze on local housing allowance rates, which determine housing benefit levels for private renter, along with an inflation-linked increase in benefits and a ‘clear path to net zero.
The Chartered Institute of Housing also called on the government to scrap the LHA freeze and to uprate benefits in line with inflation.
The CIH also called on the government to immediately increase grant by £700m a year to fund 10,000 extra social rented homes a year.
A Fair Deal for Housing campaign
Housing Today believes the government should not back away from its manifesto pledge of building 300,000 new homes a year by the middle of the decade. We badly need more homes and a lack of supply is a major factor in creating problems of affordability for both buyers and renters.
Over the next few months, Housing Today will be exploring potential solutions to help us ramp up housebuilding to 300,000. These are likely to include different ways of working, funding asks of government and policy ideas that could boost housebuilding.
We want to hear from you: what do you think can make a difference at a policy level?
What can the industry do better?
We believe that, with the right commitments from ministers and the industry, it is possible to build more homes and help the government to meet its objectives to “build beautiful”, improve quality and safety, boost home ownership and level up the UK.
To contribute ideas to our A Fair Deal for Housing Ideas Zone database, click here.
A Fair Deal for Housing is part of the Building the Future Commission