PRESS RELEASE: Building Industry Prepares to Start Work on Affordable Homes
Published: 12 July 2011 | Author: Colm Quinn
Building contractors are gearing themselves up for a significant increase in work once housing providers discover whether their bids to build affordable homes have been successful.
Many contractors have been reliant upon private sector work during the past few months as bids submitted by housing associations and other registered providers were considered by the Homes and Communities Agency.
As anticipation builds ahead of the announcement of the first successful bids under the new housing investment framework, The Housing Forum is calling for the speedy conclusion of negotiations to allow the supply of new housing to get underway.
According to The Housing Forum, a professional network representing housing providers and firms that make up their supply chains, it is vital that providers and contractors get together soon and establish new partnerships, or renew existing ones.
Shelagh Grant, The Housing Forum’s chief executive, said housing providers and contractors were delighted that the period of uncertainty surrounding affordable house building should come to an end once the HCA announces which bids have been successful, possibly as early as next week. “We have seen a very tentative operating environment that has made things difficult for house builders and contractors,” she said.
She stressed the need for housing associations and other providers to get in touch with potential contractors and developers as soon as possible so that contractors can meet what, in some cases, may be extremely tight timescales.
Barry Munday, chair of The Housing Forum, said the house building industry must pull together to deliver homes in line with the government’s targets. “We will only create a more stable housing market if more homes are built for sale and rent,” he said.
“The Housing Forum will continue to encourage innovation in the building and procurement of new housing. But it is important that the industry receives support from government, including reform of the planning system, and that localism results in more, not fewer, homes being built.”
Stephen Teagle, managing director for affordable housing and regeneration at house builder Galliford Try, said builders and contractors would welcome the announcement of awards under the HCA’s 2011-15 programme, which will finally give the green light to delivering new affordable homes.
“The sector has already adjusted to the new funding regime and is prepared for delivery,” he said. “Working with housing providers within partnerships will be an important component, providing forward visibility of supply and helping to capture efficiency across the supply chain.”
A successful house building industry is vital to local economies and growth, added Shelagh Grant. “In general, house building is sourced locally and generates wealth and employment in local communities,” she said. “Hopefully, speedy settlement of the new framework for affordable house building will lead to resumption of work as quickly as possible.”
For further information contact Shelagh Grant at The Housing Forum (tel: 020 7648 4070).
Notes to editors
1. The Housing Forum is a unique cross-housing industry network that brings public and private sector organisations together to influence emerging policy and promote excellent practice.
2. The Homes and Communities Agency has indicated that it likely to inform housing providers whether bids to build homes using the affordable renting model have been successful from early July.
3. The government is committed to building about 150,000 new affordable homes by 2015, including homes that were in the pipeline prior to the current comprehensive spending review (CSR) period.
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