Shelter brings together experts to discuss the role of housing in economic growth.
17 October 2011
Chief executive Campbell Robb chaired the discussion at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, which was sponsored by Legal and General.
He was joined at the event by Vicky Pryce of FTI Consulting, former Chief Economic Adviser at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), who presented a paper on the benefits of investment in house building versus other economic stimulus measures. Robert Carver of Pro Bono Economics also presented a paper on the role of the public sector in supporting house building.
The presentations were followed by a roundtable discussion including representatives from Berkeley Group, HM Treasury, the Council of Mortgage Lenders and think tanks IPPR, Policy Exchange and the Centre for Cities.
Introducing the event, Stephen Smith Director of Housing & External Affairs for Legal and General Network said: "It's well known that housing is central to the physical health of our population, with poor housing creating pressure on the NHS and other public services. But housing is also vital to the health of our economy. Housing and investment in housing should be at the forefront of economic and political thinking in the UK today."
Shelter's chief executive Campbell Robb said: "The economic impact of housing investment was recognised across all the political party conferences this year. Investment in housing is not only an effective way to stimulate the economy in the short term but also adds to the country's long term growth potential. It's time to move on from the planning debate and start talking about how housing investment can be used to support employment and economic growth now."
Vicky Pryce said: "Additional investment in housing could play a key role in raising the growth rate in 2012 and compares favourably to other stimulus options, with £1 spent on housing inducing more economic activity than a similar £1 spend on reducing tax. With youth unemployment recently topping 1 million, boosting a sector which is a significant provider of apprenticeships will also help provide opportunities to young people out of work."
Robert Carver said: "Without any increases in supply, improvements in demand through interventions in the mortgage market will only have the effect of increasing prices and reducing affordability. What we need is direct and explicit intervention to ensure that the construction sector is delivering at the right levels."
Notes to editors
A copy of the papers by Vicky Pryce and Robert Carver can be found on Shelter's website. www.shelter.org.uk
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