The Home Builders Federation (HBF) has laid out a comprehensive plan titled Homebuilding: An engine for growth, prosperity and opportunity in response to the UK’s housing crisis, calling for significant policy changes to deliver quality, energy-efficient housing. Here are the key points and recommendations from the HBF’s blueprint:

Key Challenges Identified:

  1. Complex Planning System:
    • The current planning system is described as complex and cumbersome, hindering the efficient delivery of new homes.
  2. Lack of Affordable Mortgage Lending:
    • There’s a shortage of affordable mortgage options, making it difficult for potential buyers to enter the housing market.
  3. Uncertain Policy Environment:
    • Frequent changes and uncertainty in housing policies create instability, discouraging investment and long-term planning.

Recommendations for Policy Changes:

LIS Show – MPU
  1. Talent Pipeline for Low-Carbon Housing:
    • Develop a clear roadmap to ensure a steady supply of skilled workers capable of delivering sustainable, low-carbon homes.
    • Implement the recommendations of the Industrial Training Board review to support this talent pipeline.
  2. Planning System Reforms:
    • Simplify and streamline the planning process to make it more predictable and efficient.
    • Reinstate mandatory local housing targets and ensure local plans are up-to-date and aligned with national housing needs.
  3. Linking Infrastructure with Housing Plans:
    • Improve coordination between infrastructure investment and housing development to support the creation of sustainable communities.
  4. Support for Off-Site Modular Construction:
    • Address planning delays that affect off-site modular housebuilders, allowing them to contribute more effectively to meeting housing demand.
    • Embrace modern construction methods to enhance the quality and efficiency of homebuilding.

Expert Opinions:

  • Neil Jefferson, HBF Managing Director:
    • Emphasized the economic and social benefits of building more homes, including job creation and the provision of energy-efficient housing.
    • Called for politicians to introduce positive policy changes to support the housebuilding industry.
  • Professor Tony Crook, University of Sheffield:
    • Highlighted issues such as the abandonment of local housing targets and the lack of coordinated housing policies across government departments.
    • Advocated for better integration of housing and infrastructure planning.
  • Professor Chris Gorse, Loughborough University:
    • Criticized the outdated planning practices that delay housing projects and hinder the adoption of innovative construction methods.
    • Urged for a functional planning system to support the delivery of high-quality homes.


The HBF’s blueprint outlines the urgent need for policy reforms to address the UK’s housing crisis. By simplifying the planning system, ensuring affordable mortgage options, and supporting innovative construction methods, the next government can help deliver the quality, energy-efficient housing needed to meet the demands of the population and drive economic growth

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