Bjorn Howard, Group chief executive responds to the Budget

“The government promised to focus on levelling up and empowering communities recovering from COVID-19. Certainly, the changes to the Universal Credit earnings taper coupled with the creation of new opportunities through the ‘skills revolution’ has the potential to make a positive and lasting impact on people’s lives and the sectors experiencing a skills shortage, such as construction.

“In terms of delivering new homes, unlocking derelict and unused land to build new properties to help achieve this ambition is undoubtedly needed, but there should also be a conversation about the infrastructure and support these sites need, and where they will be located.

“Developing brownfield sites is more expensive than normal so these additional costs shouldn’t disrupt the delivery of affordable homes. This will be essential if the £11bn committed to fund new affordable development is to deliver the homes people really need, in places they want to live.

“A partnership approach will be key to making brownfield funding work for everyone. We need a strategic approach, led by government, that links local authorities, housebuilders and housing associations to a common aim, to provide homes for the communities that need them.”

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