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Housing issues debated

The biggest issues in housing have been debated at a series of events held at the party conferences by NHBC and the House Builders Federation.

Most recently, the panel at the Conservative conference highlighted that as house building levels are not changing month-on-month, the Government plans for housing cannot yet be having an impact. One of the key issues for them was the question of how to help small and medium-sized house building firms after a prolonged period of no growth, which can cause a skills dearth as professionals leave the sector, or return after long periods out of work.

The type of homes being built was also on the agenda, as it was felt that some homeowners or tenants are living in accommodation that doesn’t meet their needs. This was reflected in a report from the NHBC that the types of homes being built are changing: the construction of new flats, once the mainstay of the market, has dropped to just 20% in the last decade.

At the Labour Party conference the panel acknowledged that some 240,000 new homes must be built each year, to meet the country’s need, yet NHBC’s latest figures revealed a 21% fall compared to the previous year.