A Derby construction boss has released a study which describes how the UK could build its way out of a looming post-Covid recession and save vast amounts of pounds for the taxpayer.
Hodgkinson Builders has produced its first Annual Social Housing Report along with support and research in the University of Derby.
The 96-page white paper paints a warts-and-all picture of the present state of the construction industry, including the deep-seated problems caused by skills shortages and poor construction methods.
But its main focus is to highlight the crisis surrounding a lack of social housing and the need for people and organisations to alter negative attitudes towards the concept of social housing.
Significantly, Ian Hodgkinson, Managing Director of Hodgkinson Builders, is urging businesses and governments to make use of smarter, more sustainable methods to build much-needed social housing quickly – and in doing so will reap rewards for society as a whole.
The report explains why every affordable home built in the UK generates an additional £108,000 for that economy, due to the creation of jobs, and boost to the local businesses in that area. The report also details why improving the housing stock for the less well-off will cut billions in unnecessary expenditure from the NHS bill.
Ian said: “Never has there been a better time to improve housing and social housing in the united kingdom. Faced with the economic challenges caused by the current pandemic, this is an area that may drive our economy in the right direction and give us a chance to build our way out of the crisis.
“Although this report was conceived and written throughout the pandemic, it’s something that I’ve been intending to do for a long time. But now, the conclusions it draws are even more poignant than they were beforehand.”
Ian said that with so many people struggling financially, along with the benefit system funding increasingly expensive temporary housing solutions for homeless families, it was imperative that efforts were created to remove the stigma of social housing.
“Investment in social and affordable housing has profound benefits for the economy, for people’s health insurance and well-being and for the adhesion of local neighborhoods,” he said. “I hope this white paper helps to straighten out the facts from the myths in such a way that we can finally make it happen of providing every person with a solid roof over their head.”
The non-political white paper is being distributed to Government ministers, housing associations, local authorities and other decision makers in the hope that it'll help to shape future housing policy. The report can also be downloaded from Hodgkinson Builders’ website.
Recommendations made in the report include:
– Adopting better techniques to facilitate the use of brownfield land for housing.
– The widespread adoption of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), including eco-friendly energy provision, off-site modular building and timber-framed construction.
– Reforming the look system to provide more powers for local authorities to deal with the specific circumstances of their own areas.
– Creating more the thousands of empty homes for much-needed housing use.