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Securing Britain's Housing Need - NHBC and HBF host Labour Party Fringe

In front of a packed audience at this year's Labour Party Conference, a panel of industry experts discussed one of the most pertinent issues facing the UK - how to confront the housing crisis.

The debate, Halfway to 2015: How can we secure Britain's housing needs? was chaired by the HBF's John Slaughter with a panel including: Shadow Housing Minister Jack Dromey MP; Lewis Sidnick, Head of Corporate Affairs at NHBC; David Orr, Chief Executive, National Housing Federation; and Patrick Law, Director of Corporate Affairs at Barratts Developments.

The panel acknowledged that some 240,000 new homes must be built each year, to meet the country's need, yet NHBC's latest figures revealed a 21% fall compared to the previous year.

Agreeing that house building is key to economic growth, the panel discussed both the immediate and longer-term challenges facing the housing industry and beyond; from the availability of land and finance, to affordability quality and localism.

Following the morning's announcements by Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, the audience also heard more about Labour's plans. Jack Dromey said: "We are putting housebuilding at the centre stage of our economic strategy... We are proposing a fresh stimulus plan to get Britain building. We have pledged a stamp duty holiday and a commitment to build 100,000 new social homes."

"I look forward to working with NHBC on delivering our plans."

Lewis Sidnick said: "The number of planning permissions granted is decreasing at exactly the time when it should be increasing, while the average house price has spiralled out of proportion with the average salary. Today's debate showed that the road to building more homes is not necessarily going to be straightforward, but the fact that housing is taking a firm place at the top of the political agenda is at least a step in the right direction.

"We welcome the Shadow Minister's plans to put housing at the heart of Labour's economic plans and a commitment by the Shadow Minister to work with NHBC of the details of this policy."

News Date: 01/10/12