22/11/12

Commenting on the speech by the Deputy Prime Minster on housing today (Thursday), Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“In our submission to the Chancellor ahead of the Autumn Statement next month, the BCC called for a new fund to unblock stalled developments, so the government’s pledge to provide £225m is a welcome step in the right direction. Addressing this shortfall is essential for growth, with the slump in construction output a major factor behind the negative growth that we saw in 2011 and early 2012. Not only will this investment boost the economy by creating thousands of jobs in the house building sector, it will also benefit a large number of UK-based firms and suppliers.

“But unblocking stalled sites alone is not enough. We would challenge the government to be more ambitious and increase the Homes and Communities Agency’s (HCA) target by a further 100,000 homes by 2015, which would provide a substantial return in economic growth. Research* shows that investing in house building has a multiplier effect, with each pound invested creating £2.09 of economic output. The government must seize this opportunity and build the homes needed for a sustainable future, and a lasting economic recovery.”

Ends

Notes to editor

* FTI Consulting estimates that investment in housing has a multiplier effect - with each pound invested creating £2.09 of economic output - more than most other sectors.

Figures from the Growth and Infrastructure Bill impact assessment (November 2012) show there are around 1,400 stalled housing schemes with planning permission in place across the country, representing nearly 75,000 new homes.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national voice of local business.

The BCC sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 100,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people. For more information visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk

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