Director of External Affairs, Home Builders Federation
John Slaughter has a general representational role at the Home Builders Federation (HBF) and is also responsible for a wide range of policy issues at both national and regional level.
John gives a whistle stop overview of some the key issues facing the HBF, building on some of the points he raised at last year’s conference while also discussing the implications of the government’s new policy agenda. John speaks of the challenges facing the industry and divides them into two categories; the first being issues relating to the image of the industry and the second, the external issues impacting industry.
John outlines the reputational and trust issues surrounding the industry and how these are a repetitive motif within recent perception audits carried out by the HBF. John links these issues with the current political drive on housing delivery and how quality and design must not be sacrificed. External factors discussed included Brexit’s impact on the skills shortage within the sector and the importance of housing within the recent election.
John also discusses the programme he is currently involved in named the Affordable Housing Commission which works to address challenges of affordability within the housing industry. He mentions the interesting analysis of the scale of the affordability issue in the sector and the rise of ‘affordability stress’ across households in the UK.
John concludes with the need for the industry to pull together and work collaboratively to tackle these issues; to be inclusive and to find ways of working that will be productive for everyone. John believes 2020 marks the beginning of the most challenging but also the most opportunity-laden decade that has ever faced the industry. John lists strategic thinking and open-mindedness as key requirements to successfully tackle the decade ahead.