More than 90% of MPs think that converting empty spaces above shops could help reverse the current housing shortage, according to new research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
The survey results, which have been published alongside a new research report by the FMB entitled “Homes on our high streets”, shows that MPs believe converting empty spaces above shops could have a number of positive consequences, including:
· 94% of MPs believe it could reverse the housing shortage in their constituency;
· 89% of MPs say it could boost local growth in their area;
· 86% of MPs think it could have a positive impact on the vibrancy of their town centres.
Brian Berry, chief executive at FMB, said: “It is estimated that as many as 300,000 to 400,000 new homes could be created by making use of empty spaces above shops on our high streets. This is space just waiting to be turned into residential accommodation. The fact that 90% of MPs of all parties recognise the potential of our existing buildings to help solve the housing crisis means we need to be more imaginative if we are going to build the 300,000 homes a year that the Chancellor pledged in last month’s Budget.”