Housebuilding sector calls for help with materials shortage

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) reports that the material crisis is harming the government’s housebuilding and construction ambitions and the sector needs help in addressing it.

Year on year, material prices are increasing by 20% and delays are not improving, which is having a negative impact on the construction sector.

According to the NFB, the government needs to understand the different challenges faced by different elements of the sector, such as housebuilders and construction SMEs seeing shortages of bagged cement, bricks and tiles while those building flats are seeing issues with price rises and constraints in steel and concrete supply.

The NFB also highlighted that in the long-term the government needs to identify which imported materials we are overly reliant on and support British industries working to solve that, such as those investing in cross laminated timber which addresses the reliance on timber imports.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders, said: ‘The Government cannot magic up building materials, but they can ensure the impact isn’t as great. Through keeping an eye on importation challenges, such as paperwork and port access and continuing to work on HGV driver solutions, material issues can be improved.

‘However, the NFB and HBA is calling on the Government to put out a Ministerial Statement telling councils they should show greater flexibility on materials changes, such as bricks, as well as not serve completion notices when a project is clearly delayed.’

Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing at the House Builders Association, the housebuilding division of the NFB, added: ‘The Government is at a crossroads. Due to reduced productivity, Covid has made the broken planning system even more inefficient and material shortages will put the final nail in coffin for some SMEs. Every HBA board member I have spoken to supports our short-term recommendations on project material flexibility and delaying completion notices because they are not only worried for their own businesses but the sector as a whole.

‘Housebuilders worked throughout lockdown and did not shirk their responsibility to solve the housing crisis but we need more help from the Government, otherwise SMEs will pay the ultimate price.’

In related news, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will become the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities as the government emphasises its focus on levelling up every part of the UK.

Photo by C Dustin


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top