Laura Sharman 10 June 2020

Housing sector at risk of collapse due to Covid-19, think tank warns

At least 76,000 homes are at risk of not being built this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, a think tank has warned today.

Analysis by the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) shows that housebuilding could fall by around 38% over the next year and is unlikely to recover until well into the 2020s.

The housing sector is ‘uniquely vulnerable’ to recessions, according to the CPS, which will make it impossible for the Government to meet its housing targets.

The centre-right think tank is calling for a new ‘Help to Build’ scheme that would provide housebuilders with a grant of up to £25,000 per new build property for 12 months.

The report suggests that this would ensure the construction of around 150,000 homes next year if capped at £3bn.

Alex Morton, head of policy at the CPS, said: ‘The UK housebuilding industry is not just economically and socially vital, but particularly vulnerable to the impact of recession. We cannot afford a repeat of the past two economic crises.

’This scheme will keep housebuilding going over the next 12 months, while laying the ground for further reform, and avoiding a catastrophic slump in supply. This scheme - or something very much like it - is the most cost-effective way to protect jobs and keep Britain building.’

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