BSA calls for housing minister to become a cabinet position

The Building Societies Association is calling for the creation of a minister of state for housing with a “cross-departmental mandate” in an effort to boost house building and the economy.

As part of its Budget submission to the Treasury, the trade body is calling for the Government to promote the role of housing minister to the cabinet in order to “co-ordinate and deliver more holistic and ambitious policy-making” when it comes to housing. Presently, the housing minister does not sit on the cabinet.

The BSA also wants the Government to speed up the release of land with planning consent to boost home building and the creation of a UK-wide, consumer facing housing portal to improve the take-up of housing schemes by giving the public easy access to information and advice.

Moreover, the trade body wants the Government to follow the lead of the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly by looking at the “slab structure” of stamp duty and the creation of a housing Isa, where funds deposited would be allocated directly to fund housing development and purchase.

Director general Adrian Coles says: “House building is an important growth engine for the economy and we have a desperate need for more homes. Government must do more to make this happen.”