Trade body makes call in election manifesto launched today

The Federation of Master Builders has called on the next government to create a dedicated secretary of state for housing to address the country’s shortage of homes.

To tackle the falling number of new homes being built and the failure to retrofit at scale the country’s existing 29 million homes, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has said that a new dedicated housing department with a secretary of state for housing is needed.

The FMB will launch its election manifesto, Growth from the Ground Up, in Parliament later today.

Brian Berry FMB

FMB chief executive Brian Berry is launching the group’s election manifesto later today

Other key government asks in its manifesto include introducing dedicated planning resources within local authorities for small house builders and setting up developer forums.

To unlock small sites, the FMB has said the government needs to ensure provisions in the NPPF are being followed at a local level.

On skills, the FMB is calling on the government to develop a construction skills plan that outlines a long-term delivery schedule for vocational skills.

And it said the next government should create clear training pathways for prospective builders and that competence standards should be set for retrofitting work.

The trade body for small and medium-sized construction firms has also called for the introduction of a licensing scheme for building firms and sole traders operating in the repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) sector.

In addition, the FMB manifesto wants a reduction in VAT on repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) work to help small builders and encourage homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient.

FM chief executive Brian Berry said: “Without an adequate supply of homes, people can’t move freely, which stifles growth and opportunities.”