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Housing secretary announces ombudsman for new builds

Housing secretary announces ombudsman for new builds

The Secretary of State for housing, communities and local government has announced the creation of a New Homes Ombudsman, designed to "champion homebuyers" and address quality issues in new homes.

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference earlier today (1 October), James Brokenshire announced the creation of the body while pledging the UK's biggest domestic priority was building homes to satisfy the country's needs.

Mr Brokenshire said "decades of underinvestment and lack of political will" had created an environment in which for too many a home of their own was unattainable. 

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Mr Brokenshire said the creation of the New Homes Ombudsman was a means to "champion"consumers.

He said: "This new watchdog will champion homebuyers, protect their interests and hold developers to account and give confidence that when you get the keys to a new home you get the quality build you expect and the finish you pay for."

When approached by FTAdviser, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government could not provide further details on the proposed body. 

But its establishment had been called for by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment in its 'Better redress for homebuyers' report in June.

The group suggested the ombudsman should be independent, free of charge and provide swift resolution to consumer complaints.

The same report recommended a single portal, with a single entry point for dispute resolution services spanning the residential sector, which would see consumer complaints referred to the appropriate ombudsman and reduce confusion in the market.

rachel.addison@ft.com