Commenting on day one of the new Conservative government, Nick Boulton, chief executive
of the Trussed Rafter Association (TRA) said:
“Throughout the election campaign, a consistent need raised by people in all communities across the country was the need for more, and better, housing. The Conservatives pledged to tackle that, promising measures to help first-time buyers and boost new housebuilding, targeting the delivery of at least a million more new homes over the next five years. While lower than their previous target from 2017, which had been to build 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s, it is probably more realistic given the severe skills shortages in the sector. What matters now is delivery on those promises.
“Housebuilding fulfils a basic social and public need, but also stimulates a vital supply chain of goods, skills and materials to act as a multiplier across the economy. While we all recognise that Brexit will once again dominate the agenda next year, we are urging the new government to also use its first 100 days to tackle the housing crisis through rapid planning reforms, support for more affordable housing development via local councils, fast progress with the regulatory changes on fire safety, and continued support for high quality MMC. In particular, we will also continue to push for major new housebuilding programmes in 2020 to be tied to the UK’s zero carbon targets. The timber supply chain in construction is ready and waiting to support this, solving problems across multiple policy areas.
“As a member of the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI), the TRA assisted the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Timber Industries and helped it to quantify the benefits of timber in construction, including lowering carbon emissions, speeding up delivery, improving quality and creating local jobs.
“The APPG report published earlier this year clearly identifies ways in which we can help housebuilding happen by ensuring greater productivity, higher quality and better performance standards in buildings, more job opportunities and stronger local economic growth, all while improving the sustainability of housing in the UK with a reduced carbon footprint. Like other organisations within the CTI, we will be taking this report to the newly elected MPs and to local authorities to show how they can improve their housing delivery and housing stock in their own communities.”