Government launches enquiry into homebuilding industry

A new enquiry, which will examine the capacity of the UK housebuilding industry to meet the demand for new homes, has been launched by MPs.

Stating that the housebuilding industry is ‘simply not keeping up with demand and has left us in the midst of a crisis’, the Communities and Local Government Committee wants to review what is it that may be hampering the progress of the industry to meet the nation’s need for new homes.

The enquiry is likely to invite input from chief executives of major developers, as well as representatives of industry bodies, the Homes and Committees Agency, local authorities and housing associations.

The committee wants to gather information as to whether the numbers of builders and types of firms in the homebuilding industry is sufficient to meet housing demand, in particular the role of small and medium-sized developers.

It wants to learn more about housebuilders’ business models and how risk and uncertainty may be affecting incentives to expand, as well as the sustainability, size and skills of the building industry workforce.

The committee will ask why fewer homes are being started and completed than the number of planning permissions being granted, examining the extent to which current planning approaches cause delays to the building of new homes.

And it will invite opinion on innovative approaches to increasing the housing supply, for example self-build, off-site construction and direct commissioning by central government and local housing companies.

Finally, the committee wants to hear about the role of development finance and its ability to either promote or constrain housing investment.

A deadline of 12th September 2016 has been issued for all submissions.

Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

"The capacity of the homebuilding industry is a key factor in housing supply, which is simply not keeping up with demand and has left us in the midst of a crisis.

“The Committee will cast a critical eye over the major homebuilders, examine the decline of small and medium-sized developers and look closely at the skills shortages, planning delays and finance issues hampering the industry.

“Our wide-ranging inquiry will also explore alternative models, such as self-builds and off-site construction, to see if such innovative approaches to homebuilding can help address the country's housing needs."


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