A CONSTRUCTION company boss has called for more focus on housebuilding.
Paul Moore, managing director of construction and development specialist Southdale – which has worked with Kirklees Council on several housing schemes – said action was needed to meet demand for more homes and to provide a significant boost to employment.
Mr Moore said: “The advice given to Government by the non-departmental National Housing and Planning Advice Unit is that 290,500 additional homes may be needed per year up to 2031 and achieving that target would be hugely beneficial to the economy in a number of ways.
“However, constraints on the sector mean only around 100,000 homes are being delivered annually.
“By taking the handcuffs off the sector, Government can not only help us to meet this demand, it can make a massive positive difference to employment and the economy.
“When you analyse what goes into house building, it is almost 100% domestically-sourced.
“The bulk of materials are from the UK and those which are imported are generally subjected to further work once they arrive in the country, creating further employment.
“Likewise, the workforce is UK based and the employment boosts spending power and taxes back into the economy.”
Mr Moore said: “Once a house is built, the benefits to the economy and employment continue, because homes need to be furnished, helping create and sustain jobs in the retail market and in the manufacture of the items that go into the homes.”
He said: “Support for the housing sector, despite the huge impact it has on the economy, is not at the right level and I believe this is at least partly because we do not have a dedicated housing minister
“Areas such as planning law and the availability of land need to be addressed to allow housing to be built at the rate it should be. While this will not wipe out unemployment by any stretch of the imagination, it will help to considerably reduce the figures.”