HBF’s budget representation: 7 areas of challenge to overcome

In its submission, HBF has identified a number of domestic challenges and issues that Government could work with the industry to overcome. If actioned, these recommendations will put home builders on a stronger footing to increase housing delivery further, tackle the housing crisis and revive the home ownership dream.


All developers, regardless of size, are facing an extremely challenging business environment, particularly with regards to the ongoing economic uncertainty, energy crisis and inflationary pressures and an increasingly anti-development planning system and policy regime Inevitably, these issues are having a considerable impact on both the ability, and willingness, of customers to buy and the industry’s ability to deliver.


Builders can only build if customers can buy and the regulatory system within which they operate allows them to. The social and economic implications of a drop in housing supply are considerable. House building supports 800,000 jobs, and generates £40bn of economic activity each year; whilst reducing supply would further hit housing affordability for a generation struggling to get on the housing ladder.


Many of these pressures are global in nature and thus not in the gift of any one government to resolve. However, there are several domestic challenges and issues that Government could work with the industry to overcome.


We have identified seven key areas for attention and proposed a range of associated recommendations for this Budget:

1. Tackling intergenerational unfairness: Making the housing market work for all

  • Helping first time buyers on to the housing ladder
  • Increasing the supply of retirement housing

2. Creating a business environment that enables growth

  • Assessing the cumulative economic burden of new taxes and levies
  • Broadening the range of actors contributing to resolving the building safety crisis

3. Getting ready for net zero

  • Further engagement with the Future Homes Hub to agree a deliverable route map
  • Educating and incentivising consumers to decarbonise

4. Supporting the efficient running of the planning process

  • Adequately resourcing LPAs
  • Reassessing proposed anti-development reforms to the NPPF

5. Establishing solutions that deliver for housing and the environment

  • Resolving the nutrient neutrality problem that is delaying over 100k homes

6. Protecting and creating growth opportunities for SME builders

  • Increasing the availability of small sites in local plans
  • Introduction of a Government guarantee

7. Building the workforce ready for a greener future

  • Become a world leader in greener housing technologies
  • Review of the funding for skills development
  • A more modern, more productive post-16 education

Article published on HBF website 3rd February 2023