The House Builders Association (HBA), a division of the National Federation of Builders (NFB), welcomed its new Strategic Policy Adviser James Hulme. James replaces Roger Humber who is retiring after many years of service to the housebuilding industry, and in particular to the members of the HBA.
James brings significant knowledge and experience to address the policy agenda for the small and medium sized (SME) house builder, having been the Director of Policy & Research for the Princes Foundation for the Built Environment until earlier this year. He has a broad understanding of issues ranging from planning and localism to building performance specification, home and neighbourhood design. James will promote the contribution of small and medium sized house builders to the construction sector, as they deliver a significant proportion of the new homes desperately needed in many parts of the UK. With the SME builder/developer often at the vanguard of change driving innovation, the HBA will strengthen its position as the voice of the low volume house builder across industry and government.
Julia Evans, chief executive of the NFB said:
“The housing and housebuilding issue is firmly at the top of the political agenda thanks to the consistent efforts of the HBA to help shape and influence key policy decisions affecting the industry. It is a widely accepted fact that the small and medium sized builders are the cornerstone of the industry, and key to economic recovery. With a general election looming, now is the perfect time for James to come on board and press home the message about SME builders’ need for policies that remove barriers and enable the building of new homes that are desperately needed in the UK.”
James Hulme said:
“At a time when the government seems to be listening, and the role of the small volume house builder is being increasingly recognised, it is a great honour to be taking over from Roger Humber and raising the debate to a new level. The areas of policy work are complex, and far reaching. I am looking forward to working with and advising members, policymakers and opinion formers about the best solutions to potential barriers around planning, regulation, sustainability and finance, which stand to stifle the smaller, and crucial end of, the housebuilding industry unless they are made more workable.
James will take over the seats representing the HBA on a number of government and industry committees and fora, to ensure that house builders are heard at the heart of the debate. He will work as part of the NFB External Affairs directorate, reporting to director Sameena Thompson.