Homes England chair: We can't hit 300,000 with current model

Homes England chairman Sir Edward Lister has said the industry needs to change its model in order to hit the government’s target of 300,000 homes a year. 
Speaking on day one of the CN Summit, Sir Edward said modern methods of construction (MMC) were essential for housebuilders to increase volumes sufficiently.
“We’ve had a great year, we’ve built 222,000 homes,” he told delegates.

“You could say that industry is at capacity; it’s not going to leap up to 300,000 at present.
“We can’t go on with the current model, so we’re moving into modern methods of construction, doing things differently.”
Sir Edward said Homes England was taking a more proactive role in driving this change.
“It’s about a factory-produced product and how this can change the industry,” he said.
“We’re involved in MMC factories into which we’re looking to put equity or loan financing.”
He added: “We are taking equity in companies, we’re doing things you wouldn’t have seen in previous years.”
Questioned about the impact of Help to Buy, the Homes England chair acknowledged that the policy’s gradual withdrawal over the next five years would be challenging for the industry.
“Help to Buy was the lifesaver that kept it all on the road,” he said, citing the onset of the last recession.

“You could say this is like giving a drug addict a line of heroin; we’re now taking that away, and that won’t be an easy thing to do.
“Has it been a success? If you asked the people who have bought homes with Help to Buy, they would probably say: yes.
“Are there unfortunate side-effects? Yes.”

Sir Edward also emphasised that Homes England was primarily concerned with driving growth in overall numbers, and that it was for local authorities to oversee the proportion of tenures such as affordable housing.

“We’re agnostic as to what sort of housing we get – affordable housing is a local authority issue,” he told the Summit.
“For us, it’s about large numbers of homes, quickly.”

Original link - Construction News

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