Sector - Health & Safety

The National Housing Federation urges a focus on social housing

The National Housing Federation (NHF) have made suggestions to the government to increase their target of 300,000 homes per year by the mid-2020s to 340,000 homes per year at the Housing Market Intelligence Conference in London.

The National Housing Federation made this suggestion with the addition that, of this 340,000 homes per year target, 140,000 should be classed as affordable housing, and stipulated that this lofty target could be made possible if the Federation were granted a figure of £12.8Bn per year in funding from the government, starting in 2021.

The NHF’s Chief Executive Officer, Kate Henderson stated: “We are ambitious on supply. We need to build a lot more houses: 300,000 homes a year is a pretty conservative estimate of what we need.

“We need more money from government. There has to be a funding settlement. We invest £10Bn a year in roads and you have to look at homes as infrastructure. Over the last 18 months, the environment has changed a lot for housing associations in terms of policy and funding.

“Under Theresa May, we saw more funding for social housing. What we have seen in the last couple of months since Boris Johnson came in is another change in the environment. The response has been more open. It is much more practical.

Part of this funding which the NHF has asked for will be dedicated to a Building Safety Fund which will oversee spending upon repair and maintenance so that incidents at social housing developments like that at Grenfell Tower do not occur again.

Ms Henderson added: “Grenfell revealed an absolute failure in the building safety system in this country. We are tackling cladding, but what lies beneath the cladding? There will be a decade long programme of remediation.”

According to Glenigan’s figures, social housing is also out-performing other subsectors within the construction industry of late, being up four per cent while the private housing subsector has taken am eight per cent dive.

Glenigan’s Economics Director, Allan Wilén added: “Overall the value of detailed planning approvals for affordable housing projects stabilised last year. This is expected to support a modest improvement in affordable housing project starts during 2019 as projects reviewed in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy start on site.”

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