Representing small and medium-sized house builders, the House Builders Association (HBA) is passionate about delivering opportunities for the most productive sector of the construction industry. Fighting for start-ups and growing businesses, the HBA lobbies for policy changes and supports members through business and skills training, as well as opportunities to win work.
NFB members automatically have access to the HBA’s specialist advisors on policy, training, funding, partnerships and winning work. Following the NFB’s example, the HBA is driven by member engagement.
We believe SMEs are integral to building the homes people want in the places where they want to settle in. The HBA brings this message to the very heart of Government and local authorities.
Simplifying the planning system is a key priority for the HBA. With access to finance improving slightly, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) must be able to build without going through a costly and lengthy planning process.
The HBA is lobbying relentlessly for planning reform, focussing in particular on planning conditions, the statutory planning period and local plan-making.
Recent HBA successes have resulted in changes to the small sites policy. Urban small sites with fewer than 10 units do not have to provide affordable housing contributions, whilst local plans must also identify at least 20% of their housing supply for small sites. In addition, larger sites will benefit from powers to split them up.
The HBA also works on frameworks with local authorities and procurement alongside Government bodies such as Homes England, regional housing strategy managers, and organisations giving SMEs the opportunity to build.
Recent partnerships with Shelter, Natural England and the Community Land Trust Network have also delivered much-needed changes to the policy process. Research from Shelter has identified SMEs as those most likely to meet affordability targets. The Government accepts community land trusts as part of diverse supply. Developers building in areas where the Great Crested Newt is prevalent are already benefiting from Species Licensing and Mitigation, which is currently being rolled out across the country.
The HBA also engages regionally to deliver for local business.
As powers are devolved further, the HBA remains active within devolved regions to enhance the recognition of SMEs as sustainable economic contributors. This has recently translated into successes with framework provider LHC in Wales and the south west.
Although access to finance and land has improved, the HBA continues to work with banks, the Government, and alternative lenders to make sure SMEs are supported to grow. Continued efforts to widen access to finance have seen the HBA working with Homes England, the Housing Growth Partnership, and Regentsmead.
Lobbying is an important part of the HBA and the Housing White Paper, which used the term SME 22 times, was built on delivering more diversity in the housing market.
It is a key example of why collective influence can deliver real change for our industry and how the HBA continues to achieve policy success.
With devolution continuing to move powers away from Westminster, Wales has become an integral part of the HBA’s focus. Collaborating with Construction Excellence Wales, as well as being part of Wales Futures Group, the HBA continues to challenge conventional approaches and deliver more strategic policies such as development opportunities in more rural locations or SME-supportive local policies.
Wales has a strong opportunity to meet its housing targets and the HBA lobbies frequently to make sure SMEs are integral to its success.
For further information, please contact the HBA team on 03450 578 162
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