Lessons of history can find solutions to bridge the housing gap - Nationwide
Nationwide Building Society gives its response to the Government’s Housing White Paper announced yesterday.
Nationwide traces its history back more than 150 years to a time when building societies were established to provide security to the “industrious classes” and a stake in society through home ownership. These building societies, including Nationwide, helped to drive the development of Garden Cities and the housebuilding boom of the 1930s.
In recent years the UK has suffered from a chronic under-supply of housing stock - housebuilding urgently needs to be unblocked. Addressing this challenge, Nationwide’s commitment in continuing the work of our building society predecessors remains steadfast; it’s essential that hard working families have a place they can call home.
The Garden City movement and the 1930s housebuilding boom challenged established ideas and looked for new ways of building towns and delivering homes. Today we have the opportunity to harness the next wave of innovation in construction techniques which could be as transformative for housing as new technologies have been for retail, travel and finance.
To realise this ambition, we welcome the Government’s focus on encouraging lending on so called modern methods of construction (MMCs), such as factory built, precision engineered prefabricated homes. The latest methods of offsite construction can deliver these “quick-build” homes at a greater rate than traditional building methods, potentially increasing the number of homes available for first time buyers and others.
One way to remove the current ambiguity for lenders on these types of homes and unlock mortgage lending is to develop a framework to bring clarity of information to lenders on housebuilding techniques for new homes. Including construction details as part of the house buying process on new homes is one such method. To deliver this, Nationwide is ready to lead a cross-industry working group to better understand the requirements of both lenders and housebuilders.
Commenting on the White Paper, Nationwide Executive Director, Chris Rhodes, said: “Nationwide Building Society wholeheartedly supports the Government in tackling the UK’s housing challenge. The Housing White Paper presents an ideal opportunity to develop a long-term, sustainable approach to meet housing needs.
“While Nationwide is looking at ways to take a more direct role in boosting housing supply, we would welcome the opportunity to work with Government around the proposals of the Housing White Paper in order to create and deliver solutions to bridge the housing gap.”