The government’s target of 300,000 new homes being built each year is soon to be missed, and with the efforts of current policy failing to increase the capacity at which new homes are being created, Homes England has set out a bold new plan to try to bridge the gap in terms of new properties being built.
During the course of the past 12 months, 222,000 new homes have been built, which is some way from the government target, but nevertheless, it’s a step in the right direction as this represents a significant increase in the delivery of new homes to the UK market. With demand for homes increasing faster than ever, now at 39%, the push for new homes to be delivered has never been more important.
Homes England chairman, Sir Edward Lister, told delegates at a recent ‘Construction News’ conference: “We’ve had a great year, we’ve built 222,000 homes. You could say that the industry is at capacity; it’s not going to leap up to 300,000 at present. We can’t go on with the current model, so we’re moving into modern methods of construction, doing things differently.”
This different tact being taken by Homes England reflects a highly interventionist role which the government agency has taken in recent years. Reflecting Sir Lister’s comments above, Homes England is planning on incentivising modern methods of construction (MMC) in order to accelerate delivery of new homes. The agency will incorporate a requirement to use MMC in leases when working with housebuilders, as well as providing finance to developers that both partner with Homes England and use MMC. Homes England’s plans reflects its move to acting as a partner to the housing industry, rather than a moderator.
Key aspects of the plan, which runs up to 2022/2023, involve; making land available to build upon, ensuring that a range of products are available to support housing and infrastructure (including more affordable housing and homes for rent) and improving the productivity of construction and offering expect support for priority locations. These actions have the intention of providing longevity in the delivery of new homes – with the priority being the increased production of homes at a sustainable level.