The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), which is being chaired by Conservative MP James Cartlidge, has four vice-chairs: Helen Hayes, Lord Best, Stephen Pound and former Housing Minister, Mark Prisk.
The group intends to produce an initial set of recommendations to Government on how to boost house building in the UK later this year.
Cartlidge said, “Housing is increasingly becoming one of the most critical policy challenges facing local and national Government, and with a Housing Bill pending, it is likely to become more political and controversial.
“In this context, a cross-party Parliamentary group focused objectively on the national policy challenge of housing offers a vehicle for taking the debate forward in a way that is both positive and constructive. Having spent my working life in the shared ownership housing sector, I am acutely aware of the challenges facing first time buyers, particularly in London. Equally, as a rural MP, I recognise the need for development to be sustainable. Ultimately, there are a whole raft of complex issues in housing and planning today but I hope that our APPG can make a real contribution to the debate.”
Issues relating to housing were one of the hottest topics of the recent General Election campaign, with all the main political parties offering up potential policies aimed at fixing a sector of the economy widely seen as under strain.
The lack of new build homes have been a key concern for the public and the main parties attempted to address this issue in their manifestos. Now it is hoped that the housing APPG, supported by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) as a secretariat, will help to resolve the growing problem.
Sean Tompkins (left), Chief Executive of RICS, commented, “We currently need to build in the region of 245,000 homes every year if we are to address the UK’s housing crisis, but the solutions we need must be innovative and wide-ranging, but also grounded within a political framework which allows them to be implemented. A coherent housing strategy is also central to many other key issues for the country; a decent roof over your head can enhance your health, academic achievement, job success and social inclusion.
“Our Royal Charter and public interest mandate makes our institution well placed to provide the framework for the constructive debates and broad conversations that must happen across the political spheres in order to develop the solutions we need. Our expertise, research and market data will all be made available to the Group. The RICS believes there are solutions to be found and we look forward to assisting this new APPG with its valuable agenda.”