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As part of the FMB’s ‘Programme for Government’, which was recently launched at a high-profile cross-party event in Parliament, the organisation believes barriers to small local builders need to be removed to allow them to play a more integral role in the next government’s housing strategy.

Brian Berry, chief executive, FMB, said: “In England we’re only building around half the number of new homes required to meet the demand for housing.

“Regardless of which party or parties take the reins in May 2015, the next government must work with industry to develop a robust housing strategy and commit to building at least 200,000 new homes a year by 2020. This is a realistic target and one that can be achieved if we remove barriers to small local builders.

“It’s encouraging that all three main political parties now recognise the vital role of SME house builders and now accept that we will never meet the demand for new homes without more of these firms building a greater proportion of our homes.

“Key issues which must be addressed in the short and medium-term include improved access to finance for small firms and the importance of local authority planning departments having the resource they need to do their jobs properly.

“The construction industry, which includes housing, it vital to the health of the UK economy – for every £1 invested in construction, 92p stays within the UK.

“Construction is also central to delivering the government’s key social and environmental aims which is why we hope policy makers take on board all of the proposals contained within the FMB’s ‘Programme for Government’.”

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