The British Property Federation (BPF) has welcomed the appointment of Grant Shapps as David Cameron’s housing minister.
Liz Peace, chief executive of the BPF, said: “We congratulate Grant on his appointment to the role which, under Labour, had the biggest staff turnover of any government position. We have dealt extensively with him during his tenure as shadow minister and his extensive grasp of the sector’s many issues will mean he can get down to business right away. His enthusiasm and ideas will go a long way to helping reshape our housing industry, but there will be numerous challenges ahead.
“While scrapping Hips will be welcomed by all, it still leaves us with the problem of greening the country’s homes. With no hope of zero carbon homes appearing in 2016 as Labour promised, Britain risks lagging behind Sweden and Germany who have very aggressive strategies for tackling climate change. What we know is that any demands on developers have to be workable and asking for mini power stations next to each housing development simply will not work, neither financially nor practically.
“As quickly as Gordon Brown promised to build three million homes the economy crashed shattering the market, but what we’ve learned is that we cannot go back to the previous model. If house prices at the current level are unaffordable, this will not change once we’ve seen major cuts in public spending, higher taxes and the risk of higher interest rates.
“This adds up to the need for a new thinking on housing, and we believe offering the right incentives to pension funds to get them funding large-scale developments to rent would deal with those unable to buy who earn too much for social housing. We need to de-stigmatise renting and offer affordable, quality housing for all.
“Grant has indicated his support for helping establish a professional rented sector and we very much look forward to working with him and his team over the years ahead.”