Liam Fox MP has questioned the cross-party consensus on the need to tackle the housing crisis by arguing that the housing crisis is "not merely an issue of supply, but one of demand."
The former defence secretary and leave campaigner also said that EU migration, 185,000 in 2015/2016, will lead to a permanent reduction of green spaces and prevent many UK citizens from buying a home of their own.
The House Builders Association (HBA) accepts that immigration exacerbates the housing crisis. However, the HBA believes that only good policy at the national and local levels will ultimately solve the housing crisis.
Between 2010 and 2016, the Government cut the communities and local government budget by 51%, making it more difficult for councils to properly fund departments in charge of housing and planning. These funding cuts have also stimulated a shift to large developments outside the existing infrastructure and onto the green belt. In addition, policies such as ‘help to buy’ and ‘right to buy’ have contributed to further stoke housing demand without adequately tackling supply.
Rico Wojtulewicz, policy advisor for the HBA, said "Leaving the EU will not, in itself, solve the housing crisis. The Government needs to enact more ambitious housing and planning policies that allow house builders to build new homes more rapidly. One barrier is the focus on large difficult-to-deliver sites, rather than smaller sites developed by SMEs. Housing supply must be deliverable and sensitive to local communities."
Wojtulewicz added "SMEs understand what their communities need, build homes more quickly, and are instrumental in delivering the ambitions of local neighbourhood plans."