In their election manifesto, the Conservative Party has pledged to 500,000 extra homes by 2022, as well as reaffirming their previous 2015 commitment to deliver a million homes by the end of 2020. As part of this, Theresa May must put SME house builders at the heart of her ambitious plans for housing, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

In response to last week’s release of the Conservative Party’s manifesto, Sarah McMonagle, Director of External Affairs at the FMB, said “The importance of addressing the country’s chronic shortage of homes is as great as ever, and the Conservative Party’s manifesto seems to appreciate the scale of the challenge ahead of us. A revised house building target of 1.5 million homes from 2015 to 2022 ups the ante on housing delivery again, but these ambitions can only be delivered with an accompanying focus on creating a more diverse and innovative house building sector. The decline in the number and output of smaller local house builders over the past few decades has led to the industry’s capacity haemorrhaging. To deliver the PM’s vision we will need to reverse this. The Manifesto’s explicit pledge to diversify the delivery of new homes is therefore extremely welcome. Key to doing this will be being able to build on some of the sensible reforms outlined in the recent Housing White Paper, which we hope to see implemented.”

“The Conservative Party’s manifesto sets out an ambition not only to build more, but to build better. There is a welcome emphasis on balancing the pressure for increasing the delivery of new properties with the need to deliver those homes to a high standard. As is widely recognised, smaller scale house builders have a strong focus on quality. By supporting greater diversity in terms of the companies building our new homes, a Conservative Government would be killing two birds with one stone. This is a vision that SMEs can build on.”

A few details from a draft version of Labour’s upcoming manifesto have been leaked. What does it say about construction, house building and infrastructure? investigates:


The leaked data highlights plans to bring parts of the energy industry into public ownership and introduce a local, socially owned energy firm in every area. Also introduce an “immediate emergency price cap” to make sure dual fuel bills stay below £1,000 a year.


As well as nationalising the railways, Corbyn proposes to borrow £250bn to invest in infrastructure but stick to the fiscal credibility rule to balance day-to-day spending. He also plans to complete HS2 from London to Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Scotland.


The draft includes a target for tackling the housing shortage, suggesting that we build 100,000 new council houses per year. Additionally, Labour would see the homes of disabled veterans insulated for free.


In a bid to tackle the skills gap without jeopardising the potential for attracting home-grown talent, the draft manifesto urges us to recognise the benefit that immigrants have brought to our industry but also introduces fair rules and reasonable management. Corbyn promises to work with employers that need to recruit from abroad but emphasises the need to prevent exploitation.