Local councils should be given the ability to borrow funds to build new developments across the UK, according to Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). Berry’s comments were in response to Liberal Democrats leader, Vince Cable, who called on the UK government to be bolder in order to solve the growing housing crisis.
Mr Berry believes both the private sector and the local authorities must be empowered to build to their full potential in order to deliver thousands of new homes and social housing across the country.
“The private sector will continue to play the lead role in building our way out of the housing shortage and if SMEs are given the access to finance and access to land they need, these firms will deliver many more homes than they do currently,” said Berry.
“Investment by local authorities in a new generation of social housing would deliver many more homes that the country needs urgently. This could also help aid the expansion of private sector output by providing more opportunities for SME builders.
“Put simply, if we are to build our way out of the housing crisis, private sector and local authorities alike must be allowed to build to their full potential.”
The president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Ben Derbyshire, also voiced concerns regarding the lack of government funding to try and address “decades of under-supply” for homes nationwide.
“While it’s good news that the Prime Minister has made fixing the housing crisis a central priority for the government, the extra £2 billion promised today just won’t meet the scale of investment needed to address decades of under-supply,” said Derbyshire.
“[The government] need to dial up the approach and investment, moving beyond describing the problems and big rhetoric to delivering solutions and the investment that will make the difference.”
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