The 2013 Budget has failed to provide the stimulus for construction that will be needed to deal with the country’s housing crisis and support the beleaguered construction industry, the President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) said today in response to the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s 2013 Budget.
RIBA President Angela Brady said:
'The construction industry shrank by 8% last year and we are continuing to see disappointingly low levels of housebuilding. Although the announcements today for further spending on housing and infrastructure are to be welcomed, it will barely make a dent in the delivery of the sustainable new homes and communities we desperately need.
'The UK is in the grip of the worst housing crisis for decades yet committing to build only a tiny proportion of the 300,000* new homes that are needed each year to meet demand. The private sector has only ever delivered around 150,000 homes a year, so whilst today’s Help to Buy announcement will enable greater access to mortgage finance, it does not sufficiently address the root cause of the housing crisis: we are not building enough homes, many of those that are being built aren’t good enough, and we cannot rely on private housebuilding alone to turn things around.
'Government should act as a catalyst for sustainable construction growth where the market is failing to deliver. Today’s Budget was the opportunity to kickstart a major programme of capital investment in new affordable homes and to lay the foundations for the green economy – on both counts the Chancellor has failed to deliver.
'We weren’t expecting a game-changer budget today, but this country desperately needs one.'