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Labour plans 'massive house building push'

Shadow housing minister Jack Dromey has pledged the Labour Party would be committed to building new homes "on a grand scale" if brought into power at the next general election.He made his comments at a fringe event at this year's Labour Party conference put on by the National Federation of Builders (NFB) and the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).He stated more small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) also need to be brought into the sector, as this would provide a considerable boost to both the economy and the number of new developments and homes that are coming to the market over the years ahead.Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, commented in response to the shadow minister's statement that a greater focus on improving the provision of housing across smaller communities - the UK's towns and villages - would be highly beneficial in tackling the housing crisis."The problems with access to finance have not gone away for SME house builders, which is why we would like to see the Labour Party include a new finance vehicle to help house builders in their housing policy package," he said.Furthermore, the greater involvement of SME builders was highlighted as imperative to the future success of Labour's ambitious home building plans, as without an increased involvement in construction efforts from this group, there will not be enough overall capacity within the UK building industry to deliver the new homes that are needed to address current shortfalls.Julia Evans, chief executive of the NFB, added: "Not all local communities are against new developments for future generations, but they would prefer smaller, more personal clusters that SMEs are best placed to provide, rather than huge developments."At present, the government is falling short in its attempts to make up the building deficit for new homes.Despite figures from the Home Builders Federation revealing a 49 per cent upturn in new development approvals over the last 12 months, it is likely around 144,000 new homes will be built in 2013 - less than the 220,000 properties required to tackle the housing crisis. 

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