Small builders

Let SME builders deliver Starter Homes, urges FMB

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has welcomed this week’s Government announcement, which gives the green light for the construction of thousands of Starter Homes, but has urged that SME builders should be given greater opportunities to deliver the homes.

The Starter Homes will be built exclusively for first-time buyers between 23 and 40 years old at a discount of at least 20% below market value.

The first wave of 30 local authority partnerships – selected on the basis of their potential for early delivery – will spearhead schemes. These partnerships have been established under the government’s £1.2 billion Starter Homes Land Fund which supports the development of starter homes on sites across England.

Construction to start this year

The first places will begin construction later this year along with sites supported by the Homes and Communities Agency.

The Starter Homes Land Fund was set up to prepare suitable land for quality starter home developments which can be built on by developers or through accelerated construction by 2020.

In addition, the Homes and Communities Agency has issued a call seeking expressions of interest from local authorities who are interested in using their land to deliver homes at pace through the £1.7 billion accelerated construction recently announced. This will see up to 15,000 homes started on surplus public sector land this Parliament.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “It’s great to see the Housing Minister kick off 2017 by giving the green light to the first Starter Homes. These homes will help some first time buyers get a foot on the housing ladder, and our small house builders are enthusiastic about delivering on that vision, but starter homes will not be a panacea. A wider set of measures aimed at increasing the capacity of the house building industry are needed to overturn the long-term under-supply of new homes. Central to this must be getting small and medium-sized (SME) builders delivering more new homes. For instance, the announcement of 14 ‘garden villages’ and more garden towns needs to be backed up by implementation plans which provide opportunities to SME builders as well as the large companies.”

Central to this must be getting small and medium-sized (SME) builders delivering more new homes.

Berry concluded: “These are positive messages to start the year with and they show that the Government is putting house building at the front and centre of its ambitions for 2017. With a Housing White Paper expected in the next few weeks this will be an important year for housing policy and its success or failure will be a key part of the new PM’s legacy.”

About Dylan Garton

Dylan Garton is a cofounder of Skill Builder and freelance video producer, camera operator and video editor.

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