Government measures to support the regeneration of our high streets and self and custom-builders are welcome boosts to tackling the housing crisis and construction activity, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to new measures announced today by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Facilitating a more diverse housing market is key to fixing the housing crisis. Our high streets have suffered through the pandemic, but converting vacant buildings or underused commercial spaces into homes is an important way of breathing new life into our town centres. The FMB has long advocated for local authorities to facilitate and coordinate the conversion of empty spaces above shops into flats by quality builders. This should form part of the new proposals.”

Berry concluded: “Building on brownfield land helps protect green spaces while unlocking the new homes that we desperately need. Small to medium-sized house builders (SMEs) train 71% of apprentices and build high quality homes, so making the funding accessible to them is crucial to building back better. The Government will not be able to meet its target of building 300,000 new homes a year without reversing the decline in SME house builders, and bringing forward a more diverse housing market.”