IT was really encouraging to read press reports about Lord Adonis’ recommendations to reinvigorate the North-East economy (Echo, Apr 12).

However, I would have liked to have seen more coverage about the potential economic contribution of construction and housebuilding.

There is growing evidence showing that investment in new homes – both private and affordable – should be a key component in getting our economy back on track. I back calls for the Government to authorise 100,000 new affordable homes to be built across the UK.

Housebuilders and housing associations in our region already employ some 10,800 permanent staff and a further 280 apprentices, and our panel calculated that, assuming current policy conditions, around 4,800 new homes will be built in the next five years.

But if changes were made to encourage and facilitate housebuilding, we believe we have the capacity to deliver 8,200 – and in the process create 5,000 new construction jobs across the region.

On the average construction site, up to 90 per cent of the labour and materials are sourced from within a ten-mile radius of each site, guaranteeing a positive knock-on effect for the wider economy.

The building of new homes will also deliver payments of the new homes bonus to local authorities and provide them with increased council tax receipts to help pay for services – including some of Lord Adonis’ other recommendations.

Investment in housing can deliver for the North-East on so many fronts.

Keith Loraine, chief executive, Isos Housing.