You would be forgiven for thinking that when a new housing development is built, the only thing the community gets is, well, new homes. The reality however is very different. From funding for schools, to sponsoring local community projects, house builders really make a difference in the places they work.
House building makes a huge, but largely hidden, social and economic contribution to the country.
People often don’t realise that the new community centre or school or football pitch has been paid for as a direct results of new home
Over the last few years housing output has increased significantly, and whilst we are still not delivering anywhere near what is needed, this has given local communities and economies across the country a boost.
As well as providing desperately needed new homes, increasing housing supply to closer to what we need would deliver massive additional benefits to communities across the land. People often don’t realise that the new community centre or school or football pitch has been paid for as a direct results of new homes.
Ultimately, providing new homes for people means better facilities for the wider community. These are the very things that turn a collection of houses into a community; brand new places where people want to live.
Based on the latest house building figures*, last year the “social and economic footprint” of house builders was as follows:
705,200 jobs were supported;
6,560 graduates and apprentices positions were created;
7,052,000 new trees or shrubs were planted
£263,548,000 was contributed towards education, which could provide up to 62,320 classroom spaces;
£210,904,000 in extra council tax revenue was generated plus £1,640,000,000 in other tax contributions;
£153,504,000 towards new open spaces, community spaces or sports facilities, or enhancing existing resources was paid to Local Authorities, which could for example provide 8,696 5-a-side football pitches;
37,720 new affordable homes were built;
Payments of £3,631,452,000 were made to local authorities for further provision of new affordable homes.
House building is increasingly recognised as a key driver of economic growth, both nationally and locally, capable of stimulating and maintaining a strong economy as well as providing much needed housing to support sustainable communities.
But beyond the hard facts and the bottom line figures, often house building offers a lifeline to communities who desperately need investment.
Whether that’s to improve local roads, help build a new school or college, or just supporting a village’s under-14s football team by sponsoring a kit or building a new club house, it’s often the impacts that you wouldn’t automatically associate with house building that can have the greatest impact on people’s lives.
These are the hidden benefits of house building that often get lost in the headlines. And by buying a new build home, you will know that you’re part of something more than just bricks and mortar. You’re helping to support the village, town, borough or city that you’re going to make a new life in.
And that is, when it comes down to it, what being part of a community is all about. After all, house building really is about so much more than just building new homes.
*Government’s net additions to the housing stock figures, published autumn 2016, show that c164,000 new build homes were completed in 2015/16