Autumn Statement: 400,000 Homes Hugely Welcomed. Only The Tip Of The Iceberg

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Following yesterday’s Autumn Statement the pledge to create 400,000 homes by the end of the decade is welcomed, but experts at the Building Research Establishment (BRE) the creator of Home Quality Mark (HQM), a 5-star quality rating scheme, has stressed this is not enough and will definitely not meet demand.

Gwyn Roberts, BRE New Homes and Communities Team Leader & Home Quality Mark (HQM) Project Lead said:The creation of 400,000 homes by the end of the decade is hugely welcomed, however is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to helping the current housing crisis and will still mean we have 40% less homes than required.

“Government funds must be channelled to create quality homes, which are both affordable to purchase and to run over the course of the home’s lifetime and by guaranteeing the quality of Britain’s housing stock, we can rebuild the trust between potential buyers and the construction industry. A recent Energy Saving Trust survey put housebuilders at the bottom of the list of consumer suppliers. Householders must be able to trust those who build their homes, trust that these homes are going to do what they say in the brochure.

“Moreover, recent corporate scandals (VW, Thompson, Tesco…) have illustrated that erosion of trust not only impacts sales, but also share prices and profitability. Greater trust and improved image in housebuilders will not only increase local acceptance of new neighbourhoods but will also attract new people to work in a sector that’s facing a significant skills shortage which is putting Government’s housebuilding targets at risk.

“The Home Quality Mark was launched to provide consumers with the knowledge to make a smart choice with a trusted housebuilder when buying or renting a home and to give housebuilders a framework for delivering great housing that’s fit for the future. House building is at the “lowest peacetime level since the 1920s and plans announced today could still mean 40% less to build the homes we need. This is why we invite the government to join us in ensuring Britain increases the quantity and quality of its homes.”