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BSRIA welcomes the recommendations put forward in the recently published Lyons Housing Review. The Review established by Ed Miliband and chaired by Sir Michael Lyons makes a number of recommendations to deal with the increasing issue of lack of affordable housing available. “To deliver the number of new homes required will need leadership from Government and we are fully supportive of the proposal put forward in the review for Housing to be a priority for Government” said Julia Evans BSRIA’s Chief Executive who was also a commissioner on the Review. Julia continued “to ensure that there is focus on housing at Cabinet level, we support the recommendation of appointing a dedicated post of Housing Minister and the establishment of a cross department housing task force supported by an independent advisory Housing Commission” The review concludes that we need to build 243,000 new homes a year, compared with an average of 137,000 over the last decade. This brings challenges to all elements of the industry including the supply of available land, Planning Legislation and the shortage of skilled labour. “We have a real crisis when it comes to the shortage of skills facing the industry and we need to act now, if we are to meet our targets. There are a number of issues that we are facing: firstly attracting new entrants into the construction industry, the CITB and the industry itself must engage with schools and colleges to present the industry as a positive career choice, and the second area that we need to consider is the upskilling of staff to ensure the workforce has the necessary skills for the technology and techniques required by the industry” Julia added.
The need to increase housing output should not be a reason for the development of inferior homes, if we are to achieve the carbon reduction targets and provide homes that allow for affordable living it must be ensured that all new homes meet the highest standard. “We are particularly pleased that the Review has recommended that the Government re-affirm its commitment to a genuine zero carbon standard for new homes, further action will be required beyond 2016 which will need to focus around the performance gap” said Julia.
Stress-free compliance with Building Regulations, including airtightness, sound insultation and ventilation