BRE comments on the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget

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Gwyn Roberts, Home Quality Mark (HQM) Project Leader & BRE Homes and Communities Team Leader

“Whilst the commitment to increase the annual new homes target to 300,000 (38% rise on homes delivered in 2016) is a positive step, it is imperative that what we build is to the highest quality, across tenures and in the areas that need them most so that they last for generations. To achieve this the Chancellor must consider fiscal incentives, land release and working with independent bodies, like the Home Quality Mark, to set the standards that will ensure we’re producing the quality homes for the future that will help us avoid a similar crisis in years to come.

 “Current mentions of housing quality have yet to be clearly defined. It is important to consumers that homes really are of high quality. it is important to understand that there is much more to quality than this one factor. Housing quality covers a whole spectrum of areas, including, comfortable indoor environment with the right temperature, light and air quality, a sustainable community and quick links to transport and amenities, in addition to minimal environmental footprint.

 “The environment will be an important factor when outlining the increased powers of State he plans to implement for the release of land by local authorities to increase building levels, as well as funding the cleansing of polluted commercial sites. I’d like to see developers (both large, small, traditional and new entrants) who want to make a positive different with holistically sustainable homes at their core of their strategy to gain the most from the Budget. To focus on homes that are cheaper to run, more comfortable to live in and promote residents’ health and wellbeing can only be a positive.

 “Overall, I hope that through the commitments made in this Budget we can rebuild the public trust in housebuilding that has been lost over the last decade.”

 Pauline Traetto, Director of BRE Academy

 “The Chancellor has stated that one of the construction sector’s greatest challenges is to deliver 300,000 new homes every year, and critical to this is the skills shortage so the skills investment is a really welcome announcement.

  A recent survey by the RICS revealed that 62% of businesses taking part reported that recruitment problems are holding back progress. The significant commitment to build 300,000 homes is paramount not only to our society as a whole but also to accommodate increased population, and improve wellbeing of those currently living in sub-standard accommodation.

 “The Government must sufficiently invest in the construction sector to ensure these buildings are of a suitable standard and have longevity. Paramount to all of this is investment to ensure training which delivers best practice and competent operatives and professionals, which will help attract young people to the industry.