Top civil servants seek measures to bolster housebuilding

Senior government officials have been asked to “urgently” come up with ways to beat the credit crunch and keep housing numbers up.

Housing minister Caroline Flint said she had asked senior officials and the chief executive of the new Homes and Communities Agency, Sir Bob Kerslake, to find ways to “create the conditions for rapid recovery”.

Caroline Flint

Flint told the Chartered Institute of Housing’s annual conference in Harrogate: “I have asked my officials, working with English Partnerships, the Housing Corporation and Sir Bob Kerslake HCA transition team, to urgently provide me with proposals on where we can do more […] to minimise the problems we currently face.

“Rest assured, if there are ways that we can use our affordable housing programmes or land assets to maintain housing numbers […] we will use them.”

Paul Diggory, Chartered Institute of Housing president, said the government needed to do more: “The fact is it’s hard to get new schemes funded, that individuals are struggling to secure mortgages, that volume builders are putting their staff on 90 day notices, and that the construction industry supply chain is struggling to survive.”