CIOB reacts to the launch of the New Homes Quality Board
Just over two years ago, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Excellence in the Built Environment published proposals for a New Homes Ombudsman, which the CIOB broadly welcomed. Earlier this week it was announced that the New Homes Quality Board has now been formally launched.
The New Homes Quality Board (NHQB), has been set up as an “independent body that will champion quality new homes and better consumer outcomes for buyers”. Natalie Elphicke MP OBE remains as chair of the Board, having been announced as the interim chair last year.
The launch announcement outlines the Board’s plans for the short-term – the chair will, over the coming months, “oversee the consultation on and introduction of a comprehensive new industry code of practice that will place considerably more responsibility on developers to deliver quality homes and better consumer outcomes on all.”
The NHQB’s permanently-appointed board members include representatives from consumer bodies, housebuilders, warranty providers, the finance sector and independents – with a constitution that ensures no one body is dominant. It is also intended that access to the new Ombudsman Service will be free to consumers, when it is operational, with the new arrangements to be paid for by the house building industry. It will also be applicable UK-wide.
Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing Eddie Hughes MP, who is also a member of the CIOB, said: “It’s crucial developers show more responsibility for the quality of their work while also acknowledging when things go wrong – this helps give vital confidence to buyers, especially at a time of general uncertainty. I welcome today’s launch of the New Homes Quality Board and its work to put a new Ombudsman in place and look forward to working closely with them to ensure the house building industry is delivering new homes of the highest possible quality.”
Caroline Gumble, Chief Executive of the CIOB, said: “We’ve previously welcomed announcements about the interim New Homes Quality Board and it’s good news that the Board is now set up and able to make progress. I want to reiterate that quality remains one of the biggest issues facing the construction industry and the new ombudsman will have a significant role as a mechanism for driving improvements in the quality of new homes. My hope is that the forthcoming consultation is opened soon and that the ombudsman function can be set up within the next few months to start offering greater certainty and confidence to those purchasing new homes.”
More information on the New Homes Quality Board can be found here: https://www.nhqb.org.uk/
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