Advice and guidance
Sharing critical news, developments and best practice is invaluable to small and medium sized house builders. The HBA sends out a newsletter every week, full of the latest policy news, information about funding, lessons learnt and critical commercial information.
The HBA holds quarterly meetings, which are a fantastic forum for similar companies to share information across the regions. Many members have commented on the value of these networking meetings, where they have learned about issues – and resolutions – that they would otherwise have missed.
The HBA also works with members whenever an issue arises, ensuring they have all they need to deal with it. For example, when a warranty provider collapsed recently, we worked with that provider to ascertain all the details so we could fully understand the position this left some of our members in, so we could then advise the best course of action.
NFB members automatically have access to the HBA’s specialist advisors on policy, training, funding, partnerships and winning work.
Our lobbying undoubtedly produces real, significant, practical results that dramatically affect our members for the better.
Recent partnerships with Shelter, Natural England and the Community Land Trust Network have 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 our work on Species Licensing and Mitigation, which is being rolled out across the country: this has stopped SME house builders having to wait up to 10 months before getting on site.
Another example: urban small sites with fewer than 10 units now do not have to provide affordable housing contributions, whilst local plans must also identify at least 20% of their housing supply for small sites.
Because we are close to policy-makers and all levels of administration, we are able to alert members to developments such as a change in policy or the creation of a fund specifically for SMEs, so our members can take advantage. They can concentrate on building beautiful homes and rely on us to be the first to find out – and interpret and advise on - all the information they need to know from policy-makers.
We also lobby at a local level, which brings the additional advantage of being able to speak to local authorities on a member’s behalf if they have an issue: this means we can help resolve a problem without our member risking damage to important relationships.