Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Housing's (CIH) annual conference yesterday, economist Andrew Dilnot stressed the importance of UK property to the economy.

He acknowledged the fact that Chancellor Gordon Brown did not have a huge amount of funding to allocate in the next spending review, but insisted that some of it must go to housing.

One of the main reasons given for the expected shortage of resources for the housing sector was the attention that is being paid to the governmental priorities of health and education.

According to Mr Dilnot, the UK property sector has to make a "fantastic case" if it wishes to secure extra government funding.

In order to do this, the housing trade must rely on three arguments, according to Mr Dilnot.

These arguments are that property is essential to the progress of the economy, spending on housing is necessary as a basis for the completion of other public spending objectives and that decent homes are "a key right" for all people.

Mr Dilnot told delegates: "Tell as many people as possible what you do. Raise your profile. Raise the profile of the role housing has in the economy."

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