House building and a new retrofit strategy must form part of the Government’s ‘Infrastructure Revolution’, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), a policy announced in today’s Spending Round by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The housing crisis is undermining the British economy. If we are to increase productivity and improve our competitive edge on the world stage, then building more new homes must form part of the Government’s campaign to upgrade our infrastructure. I welcome the announcement for £241 million to be spent on the regeneration of high streets, town centres and local economies via the Towns Fund, and additional support for Homes England, however this must be part of an overarching strategy for new build homes and social housing, which will be key to securing a prosperous post-Brexit Britain. What’s more, we need a retrofit strategy to ensure that our existing homes are fit for the future, and to alleviate the scourge of fuel poverty.”
Berry concluded: “An upgrade of our infrastructure, including building new world-class schools and hospitals, will require a strong construction industry. The skills shortage is highly concerning in this respect, with just under two-thirds of builders struggling to hire bricklayers and more than half of builders struggling to hire carpenters. The announcement for an additional £400 million to be pumped into Further Education is a welcome boost to giving colleges and employers the resources they need to train more apprentices, and make T Levels, which will become the vocational counterpart to A Levels, a success. Today’s Spending Round set the scene for a positive outlook for builders, but we need more details about how more new homes will be delivered.”