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Repairing the housing shortage

Repairing the housing shortage

In a new paper to be launched in September, the Coalition is intending to announce plans to boost housebuilding, which are likely to be implemented in the form of government-backed security rather than through grant aid. And as the UK’s only national cosmetic repair specialist undertaking snagging operations for developers, also welcomes the fact the Prime Minister said in May that he was keen to explore how the public sector balance sheet could be used to support housing and infrastructure.

The paper also says the government will underwrite bonds issued by housing associations to allow them to raise money to finance developments at more competitive rates.

Which is perhaps why we are seeing a new type of lending, which really could kick-start the sluggish construction industry into building much-needed housing across the UK. Indeed, one housing association is buying new homes off housebuilders then offering them to would-be homeowners through a 25-year payment plan, without the need for a deposit or traditional mortgage.

The product – aimed at first-time buyers and long-term renters – was launched last year by housing group, Gentoo, and has already helped nearly 50 households into homeownership.

The ‘Genie Home Purchase Plan’ sees would-be buyers able to choose from a selection of Gentoo homes, which are available at a range of monthly residency fees – which includes administration and interest costs – reviewed every five years.

Quite often, planning permissions are granted on the provision that a certain percentage of social/affordable housing is included, but developers argue tough economic times mean terms agreed before the recession can make schemes unviable. Hence we are seeing stalled sites across the country.

But, if we could see schemes such as Gentoo’s being implemented, then surely it would boost building; and there’s no reason why it could not be extended to other types of developments too.

The Financial Times reported that the government will underwrite bonds issued by housing associations to allow them to borrow to finance developments at more competitive rates – why could this not be extended to private sector developers? Or indeed, for the resurrection of the 720,000 (November 2011) empty homes across England? Surely it would be cheaper than providing state-funded housing in the long-term.

Here at Plastic Surgeon we have successfully diversified our business model over the past few years, adding facilities managers, insurance companies and cruise lines to the list of our regular customers, but having originally established ourselves with the housebuilding industry, we are naturally keen to see it return to full health. And although our Finishers are working flat out in some parts of the country such as the South-east, it is clear that the effects of the Credit Crunch and an excess of buy-to-let properties are still to be shaken off in others.

Plastic Surgeon can restore almost any damaged interior or exterior surface in commercial or residential buildings. Thanks to specialist training the company’s finishers are expert in repairing and fine finishing practically any material including;

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