Housing industry urged to continue working securely during coronavirus pandemic

The Housing Secretary, Executive Chairman of the Home Builders Federation and Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders have written to the housing industry to make clear that house building – and its supply chains that support it – should continue working securely.

So far the housing industry  in the UK has reacted with enormous agility to the extraordinary circumstances presented by COVID-19. It has kept building, repairing, buying and selling the homes the population needs.

The late resurgence in infections and hospitalisations however means that a new set of measures are required with effect from 5 November. To help save lives, building and repairing homes should continue safely during this period to ensure that people can buy, sell and move home if necessary.

Work in the house building sector has to continue in line with public health guidance. During the national lockdown which starts on 5 November construction and other site workers will be able to go to work, as stated in today’s message to the housing industry. Care should be taken to respect social distancing while travelling to and from work as well as in the workplace.

Earlier this year, the Government worked with the industry to produce a clear and simple Charter on safe working. The Charter remains as applicable today as it was when it was published.

Updated Site Operating Procedures have been published by the Construction Leadership Council and must be followed.

Buying, selling and renting a home can continue as well, in a COVID-secure way, as it has in recent months. Estate and letting agents can operate, show homes and sales suites can remain open and property viewings, mortgage valuations and surveys can take place. The existing government’s guidance on moving home must be followed.

Home repairs and maintenance can continue. There is government’s guidance on working in other people’s homes and the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has published guidance on carrying out building work.

It is essential that building safety remediation work continues, too. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has written to local authority leaders emphasising that vital building safety work should continue as the UK is preparing for, and moving into, any future stage of the pandemic.

Image: Richard Johnson / Adobe Stock

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About Simon Wright

Simon Wright writes about infrastructure, construction and real estate finance.

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