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House Building

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

17. To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions her Department has had with representatives of the construction industry on likely levels of house-building during the economic downturn. (259900)

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has lead responsibility for sponsorship of the construction industry. However, my Department, and our agencies, such as the Homes and Communities Agency, have regular dialogue with those sectors of the industry most directly engaged in meeting our departmental strategic objectives. This includes, but is not restricted to, house builders and developers and their supply chain partners. The dialogue is maintained largely through regular meetings with both individual representatives and representative bodies, such as the Home Builders Federation, as well as participation in round-tables, seminars and other fora. The downturn in house building levels has featured regularly in these discussions, as have many other issues facing the industry. The Government have been keen to explore ways to ensure that the effects of the downturn on house building output can be mitigated, so that vital new homes continue to be constructed, jobs and skills can be protected, and so that everything possible is in place to assist a rapid recovery in the market.