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Building societies call for housing investment

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The trade body representing building societies and mutual lenders has called for a joined up housing plan ahead of the election.

The Building Societies Association (BSA) wants a 15-year plan for housing and infrastructure to be agreed by all parties.

This would include using money raised from pensioner bonds to fund affordable homes across the country.

The BSA is also looking to increase the size of the custom build market and offer greater support to smaller house building firms.

A bigger social housing sector would enable each local authority to build the number of homes it needs, the report said.

It would also like to see a ministerial position created for housing which would become part of the cabinet.

Robin Fieth, chief executive of the BSA, said the major parties needed to agree on a long-term plan to meet Britain’s housing crisis.

“The UK has been underbuilding for years and everything points to a system that no longer works. If we are not determined, things are only going to get worse,” he said.

“We welcome many of the housing initiatives announced by Government and other political parties in the run up to the election. However, what is desperately needed is a long-term housing strategy.

“As mortgage lenders, building societies have and continue to play their part in fulfilling Britain’s aspirations as a nation of home-owners. But housing finance alone will not solve the problem. For many the idea of owning a home is secondary to a secure place to live. We need a huge increase in the momentum of house building across a range of types and tenures if we are to have any hope of bridging the current supply and demand gap.”

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