Builders join call to put housing minister in cabinet
The Home Builders' Federation has backed calls for the new prime minister to appoint a secretary of state for housing and planning to the cabinet.
Launching a mini-manifesto ahead of Gordon Brown taking over, the federation said that like health, education and transport, ‘housing is a critical issue for the prosperity ... of the British people. It should have a strong voice in government'.
The HBF also urges the government to look at the cost of regulation to the industry.
Executive chair of the HBF Stewart Baseley said: ‘Housing has not enjoyed its own housing minister in cabinet since 1969, when it was subsumed into the Department for the Environment. It is time housing was once more given the priority it demands – a cabinet minister with specific responsibility for tackling Britain's chronic housing shortage.'
The manifesto calls for the planning system to be made more efficient: ‘While densities have gone up on average from 25 dwellings per hectare in 2000 to 40 today, the amount of land coming forward has gone down,' it states. ‘We urgently need to increase housing supply more than a third. We can only do that with more land with planning permission.'