The government has been warned that its plans to
tackle the housing shortage could be hit by attempts to tighten
Brexit immigration controls with fewer skilled construction
workers coming to the UK.
The cautionary words come from the British Property Association
(BPF), which represents developers and investors in the sector.
BPF chief executive Melanie Leech said: “Talent is a critical
issue to sort and, in our sector, it’s construction skills."
“There are a huge number of workers coming from within and
outside the EU currently and, if we’re going to have a really
ambitious house building programme and we’re going to build the
business infrastructure we need for the 21st century, we have to
make sure we can staff the construction industry.”
The Conservatives have pledged to build one million new homes by
2020 and further half a million by the end of 2022. The Prime
Minister has also vowed to cut net migration to fewer than
100,000. Labour has also set out a similar programme of house
building with one million new homes to be built over five years,
including half a million council and housing association homes.
The party has, however, refused to be drawn on setting a target
on immigration. Both parties have said they broadly support
those EU workers currently employed in the UK right to remain
but the exact details have yet to emerge.