Common sense needed to stop immigration curbs worsening housing crisis – property chief

The developers behind one of Britain’s biggest housing schemes have called on political leaders to avoid damaging anti-immigration measures that could make the housing crisis worse.

During last night’s debate, both leaders pledged to cut immigration with Theresa May reiterating the 2010 and 2015 Conservative commitments to reduce immigration to “the tens of thousands”. Jeremy Corbyn refused to lay out a specific target but stated that free movement would come to an end and that immigration would “probably come down” under Labour.

Both parties are pledging to substantially increase housing supply, with the Conservatives offering 1 million new homes by 2020 and another half million by 2022 and Labour promising at least a million by the end of the Parliament.

However, research suggests that the construction industry will need 700,000 new recruits over the next five years just to maintain current house building levels. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research have stated that over half of London’s construction workforce is already made up of migrant labour, cutting immigration will make that recruitment process even more difficult.

Great Marlborough Estates is developing a major £500m scheme on Regent’s Crescent, next to Regents Park.

Dean Clifford, co-founder of Great Marlborough Estates, said:

“The leaders’ TV interviews were a bit like redecorating a house – both were about as exciting as watching paint dry. However, one serious point the housing sector needs to worry about is a Brexit-fuelled immigration crackdown. We already have a skills crisis in construction and the government has taken no firm steps to address this. Cutting immigration will kill off the life-blood of construction workers who have made major infrastructure projects and large housing schemes a reality.”

Grant Lipton, co-founder of Great Marlborough Estates, said:

“It is imperative that whatever colours make up the next government we don’t make promises on the left hand with housing that are undermined by point-scoring immigration pledges on the right hand.”