As I write this, David Cameron has been back in Downing Street a month and the construction industry seems quite happy with the way things have worked out. The response to the measures set out in the Queen’s Speech last month has been generally positive.
But one aspect of the government’s Housing Bill –the plan to extend the Right to Buy to include housing association properties – is sounding alarm bells, as our analysis on page 7 explains. Many people have their doubts, and rightly so.
Social housing has a unique role to play in the industry as well as the wider community. Housing associations invest for the long term; they drive innovation in design and technology; they are a force for good in the building industry. Sell off their stock to private owners and you risk throwing the baby out with the bath-water.
If we could be sure that the money earned by selling off a housing association flat allowed another one to be built, then maybe that would be OK. But on past evidence that seems unlikely to happen.
And even if it did, where would you build? All the best sites are either already developed or are just too valuable to ‘waste’ on social housing.
Piling & Ground Engineering