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Housing Vital to Northern Economic Recovery

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United Kingdom  Financial Times  House building  Jack Dromey  shadow housing minister  NHC  Get Britain Building  Sheffield Hallam University  Labour government  Jo Boaden 

Housing Vital to Northern Economic Recovery

By - Thursday 24 January 2013

A new report has shown how vital housing is to the North's economic recovery according to shadow housing minister Jack Dromey.

The report by Sheffield Hallam University, commissioned by the Northern Housing Consortium, found that the sector was responsible for sustaining 116,000 full-time jobs in the region and contributed more than £10 billion per year to its economy. Not to mention an additional £4.6 billion in 'gross added value' through such things as repairs and maintenance spending or staff wages.

Ahead of the launch of the report at the House of Commons yesterday (Tuesday), Mr Dromey said: 'From the depression in the 1930's, through rebuilding Britain out of the ashes of war to the action taken by a Labour government in 2008 to get Britain building, house building has always been central to economic recovery.

"This powerful report demonstrates the importance of investment in house building and how housing organisations can be an engine for homes, jobs and growth."

The report also found that every £1 million of government investment in northern housing creates 51 new jobs.

Jo Boaden, chief executive of the NHC, said: "Housing organisations already employ as many people in the north as car manufacturing and contact centres combined. The outcome of this study show that housing organisations really are local engines for growth and are capable of generating and sustaining wide economic growth, if supported and funded appropriately."

However, another report in the Financial Times criticised an article in the Metro newspaper for celebrating the fact that UK house prices will hit their 2007 peaks by 2017. The author said quite simply that UK housing is overvalued and that the UK economy would one day pay the price for government support of the current status quo.

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