Nationwide political divide coupled with the UK’s first-past-the-post electoral system has resulted in a hung parliament. This means that Theresa May now needs to form a new government – be it a formal coalition with labour, or minority government. Either way, all eyes are on the PM now to see how the results of her snap election will affect our industry. Here’s what industry professionals have to say this morning:
Nicholas Harris, Chief Executive of social housing provider ‘Stonewater’ says “It’s a result that creates uncertainty, however, both Labour and Conservative parties share an ambitious commitment to tackling the nation’s affordable housing crisis and we hope they will work together to keep housing at the top of the Government’s agenda. We look forward to working with the new Government at all levels to help shape the detail of housing policy so we can build the decent, affordable homes that are so badly needed.”
Greg Hill, Deputy Chief Executive at housebuilders ‘Hill’ comments on the hung parliament: “No business likes uncertainty and housebuilders like it least of all. This hung parliament and the horse-trading that will take place over housing policy to get a coalition in place means that many housebuilders will hit the pause button on their investment decisions. This is the exact wrong moment for a construction slow down. The country needs new homes desperately. We hope that the negotiations are concluded rapidly so that the new government is in place and ready to work with the sector to go out and get building.
“There is room for compromise and we have seen all political parties put housing at the centre of their manifestos. The Conservatives’ Housing White Paper mapped a blueprint for boosting housebuilding rates and their manifesto committed them to building 1.5 million new homes by 2022. The Labour Party, meanwhile, has pledged support for first time buyers in the form of a stamp duty holiday and the extension of the Help to Buy scheme. It is most likely that the Conservatives will form a coalition with minor parties and we hope that measures to support first time buyers and boosted housebuilding rates will be protected at the heart of the deal.
“Delivering these proposals should not be overshadowed by the impact of Brexit. As part of the negotiations the new Government must act immediately to keep the flow of talent from the Continent open. We will not be able to deliver 1 million or more homes by 2022 if we don’t have a sufficient volume of skilled builders to construct them.”
Continuing to tackle housing crisis
Chartered Institute of Housing chief executive Terrie Alafat CBE said "We hope our politicians can form an effective new government as quickly as possible – we need action now to solve the housing crisis and prolonged uncertainty will undermine that goal.
"In their manifestos all three major parties rightly recognised that we need an ambitious long-term plan to tackle our national housing crisis. We simply cannot go on as we are or the implications for future generations will be every bit as significant as the impact of Brexit.
"Whatever the new government looks like, we at CIH, along with housing professionals across the UK, are ready to work with them on developing that plan and putting it into practice.
"We’d like to thank Gavin Barwell for the work he has done as housing minister, we appreciated his willingness to listen and work with the sector. That kind of approach is the only way we will be able to address the country’s housing challenges and build the genuinely affordable homes that we so desperately need."