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Local house builders must drive Lyons 200,000 homes plan

16/10/2014
Local house builders must drive Lyons 200,000 homes plan
The Modern Masonry Alliance has welcomed Sir Michael Lyons’ eagerly-awaited roadmap to build 200,000 homes-a-year by 2020.

The independent review puts local builders and communities at the heart of the comprehensive housing delivery plan.

His review recommends the formation of Olympic Park-style local ‘new homes corporations’ with power to fast-track housing development and assemble land.

Lyons believes these new bodies could build the foundations to deliver up to 500,000 homes over a five-year parliament.

He also calls for fresh impetus at all levels to encourage small house builders to enter the market and end the dominance of a handful of major firms in housing supply.

Lyons points out that small builders built nearly two thirds of homes 30 years ago, but now account for less than a third.

Mike Leonard, chief executive of the Modern Masonry Alliance, said: “We welcome the principal recommendations of the Housing Commission led by Sir Michael Lyons and the overall desire to Get Britain Building.
 
“Greater engagement to identify local need and release the land to build the right homes for the community is vital.
 
“Without the involvement of local builders and the increased availability of affordable housing for sale and rent we will not deliver the massive uplift in housing delivery by 2020 that we need to address the growing housing crisis.
 
Leonard said that the MMA had already established Local House Builder Clubs in Birmingham and Wolverhampton designed to identify and release smaller sites for development by local builders .

“This initiative is based on finding ways to remove red tape and access the land and finance to make projects work. We  support the “Help to Build” initiative as an enabler  to help get smaller builders delivering more new homes.

We look forward to Sir Michael revealing  further details of his findings at the Housing Summit being staged at Arup, Solihull Campus on Tuesday 21st October 2014.
 
Labour commissioned Lyons to conduct the sweeping housing review to help form new policies to tackle the housing crisis.

But already the Liberal Democrats are embracing his recommendations to reform housing delivery.

Lyons forecastshis house building plan would deliver 230,000 extra jobs and raise economic growth by 1.2%.

He believes the new local housing corporations could build the foundations to deliver up to 500,000 homes over a five-year parliament.

Lyons Housing Review key recommendations

  • Set up new homes corporations with powers to push through building on land, including a backstop power for compulsory purchase
  • Measures to drive competition in the house building industry, increase capacity, and expanding the number of small firms.
  • A Help to Build scheme to underwrite loans to small builders to get them building again and fast-track planning on small sites.
  • Financial incentives to local authorities so that they deliver a programme of new Garden Cities and Garden Suburbs to help unlock 500,000 homes.

Unveiling the Lyons Report on a visit to Milton Keynes, Labour leaderEd Miliband declaredthe comprehensive housing plan – the first of its kind in a generation - would meet Labour’s commitment of building 200,000 homes a year by 2020 and set a course for doubling the number of first-time buyers over the next decade.

He pledged that Labour would make it mandatory for local authorities to have a local plan to meet the housing needs of the local community.

Where they fail to allocate sufficient land or come forward with a plan, the planning inspectorate will be given powers to step-in and make sure housing need is not ignored.

He also confirmed local authorities would be able to designate new ‘Housing Growth Areas’ under Labour. These would have powers to assemble land and give certainty that building will take place.