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Safeguard quality in housing delivery, CIC tells Lords Inquiry

Posted: 22nd September 2021

High quality, safe and sustainable housing that can meet the future needs of a changing climate must be at the heart of the government’s plans, the Construction Industry Council (CIC) has told a House of Lords Inquiry.

In its evidence to the Inquiry being held by the newly formed House of Lords Built Environment Committee, CIC has also said that there needs to be a greater focus on delivering more affordable housing which could be jeopardised by rising costs, unless grant levels were increased.

‘Meeting the UK’s housing demand’, is investigating whether government plans are ambitious enough and how barriers to meeting this demand can be overcome. CIC’s response focuses on skills, capacity, planning reform and housing quality. It highlights a number of concerns which could impact on both quality and quantity of new affordable housing and puts forward recommendations. These include:

  • Rising material costs and labour shortages which are driving up costs of delivery – and calls for government to review occupations that are eligible for a visa to come to the UK
  • The extension of permitted development rights which could reduce the quality of new homes and undermine the creation of sustainable communities
  • The cost and availability of Professional Indemnity Insurance affecting firms across the sector which affect their ability to deliver new and refurbish existing homes

In the past five years CIC has been involved with a number of programmes to improve the quality of new homes and raise standards more widely. CIC has provided the secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment, which has conducted two inquiries into housing quality in England. Two reports stemming from these inquiries were instrumental in the Government setting up the New Homes Ombudsman. CIC is also playing a central role in helping to raise competence standards in the building industry in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.

The Select Committee is set to report by the end of the year and make recommendations to the Government.

The report can be read in full here.