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HBF welcomes FLS announcement

The Home Builders' Federation (HBF) has welcomed the announcement of the new Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS), claiming the move could promote greater house building in the future.

Providing much-needed social and economic benefits across the UK, the FLS has been highlighted as a key step in promoting more new developments to come to the market.

In recent years, the HBF claims a lack of availability for funding for such projects has hampered developers efforts to get the industry moving in a positive direction and as a result, this has resulted in increased housing waiting lists, an acute supply crisis and thousands of skilled tradesmen losing jobs.

However, with the launch of the new scheme, the HBF hopes to see a reversal in fortunes for UK construction, as the improved availability of mortgages and lower rates for borrowers as set out in the FLS should help to get the sector back on its feet.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman at HBF, said: "This is a positive move. A lack of lending for individuals and businesses has been the main constraint on house building in recent years, making Britain's housing supply crisis even more acute."

He added that a growth in the number of individuals able to access mortgage funding under the programme should in turn increase economic activity and promote the creation of tens of thousands of jobs within the construction industry.

Last month, business secretary Vince Cable highlighted his belief that the UK construction sector is the backbone of the economy.

He argued that a positive construction sector has benefits across a host of other industries, not least of which is UK manufacturing.

The former chief economist at Shell told Construction News: "It's the backbone of the economy and it's often been neglected, and if we are going to get out of this period of economic crisis, the construction industry is a key driver, which is why I want to see a huge push behind house building and infrastructure." 

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