The Government announcement, which gives the green light for the construction of thousands of Starter Homes, is welcome but greater challenges lie ahead if we are to solve our housing crisis, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has warned.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “It’s great to see the Housing Minister kick off 2017 by giving the green light to the first Starter Homes. These homes will help some first time buyers get a foot on the housing ladder, and our small house builders are enthusiastic about delivering on that vision, but starter homes will not be a panacea.
“A wider set of measures aimed at increasing the capacity of the house building industry are needed to overturn the long-term under-supply of new homes. Central to this must be getting small and medium-sized (SME) builders delivering more new homes.
“For instance, the announcement of 14 ‘garden villages’ and more garden towns needs to be backed up by implementation plans which provide opportunities to SME builders as well as the large companies.”
A recent LSE (London School of Economics) report calls for an emergency housing package for young Londoners. The new report calls for a large-scale emergency housing package to help young Londoners into affordable homes, has been published recently.
The report argues that 250,000 new homes need to be built over the next decade for younger households entering the housing market for the first time, and that more small and medium-sized housing sites are needed, which could be built out more quickly than large sites.
Meanwhile, one consultancy has argued that new housing needs to be accessible to all, not just the young. Stuart Cameron at Morgan Tucker said:
“We have known for some time that our population is growing and ageing with an estimated 64.6 million people residing in the UK in 2014, according to the Office of National Statistics. At this point, 17.7 per cent of our total population were over the age of 65 and this figure is expected to continue to rise, to almost a quarter (24.3 per cent) by 2039.
“Understanding this is key to meeting our future housing requirements just as their future design must be considered in order to cater for these changing demographics.”