PM vows to add 200,000 more homes

Prime Minister David Cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron will announce plans for 200,000 new “affordable” homes to buy in his closing speech to the Conservative conference in Manchester today….reports Asian Lite News

Prime Minister David Cameron (File)
Prime Minister David Cameron (File)

The prime minister will unveil his five-year plan to transform England to a better country in his first speech after winning majority in the last election.

Cameron will tell Tory activists that he wants to transform “generation rent” into “generation buy”. Those who buy the new “starter homes” will be prevented from selling them for a quick profit under the new policy, which aides say will provide 200,000 new homes by 2020.

Builders in England will no longer be forced to offer low-cost rented homes in new developments.
Instead they will be able to offer “starter homes” for first-time buyers under 40 as well, at discounted prices. The “starter home” scheme was first announced during the general election campaign and will see a discount offered on homes up to £250,000 outside London and £450,000 inside London.

Mr Cameron is already under pressure to water down controversial plans to offer the “right-to-buy” to housing association tenants currently passing through Parliament, amid claims it will hit those in housing need.
But home ownership, which has declined dramatically in recent years amid soaring property prices and high mortgage deposits, is a cornerstone of Mr Cameron’s Conservative philosophy and he will admit much more needs to be done to bring it within the reach of younger people.

“When a generation of hardworking men and women in their 20s and 30s are waking up each morning in their childhood bedrooms – that should be a wakeup call for us. We need a national crusade to get homes built. That means banks lending, government releasing land, and yes – planning being reformed,” said Cameron.

“Increasing home ownership means something else. For years, politicians have been talking about building what they call ‘affordable homes’ – but the phrase was deceptive. It basically meant homes that were only available to rent. What people want are homes they can actually own. After all, the officials who prepare the plans for the new homes, the developers who build them, the politicians who talk about them – most of these people own the homes they live in. Don’t they realise other people want what they’ve got – a home of their own?

“So today, I can announce a dramatic shift in housing policy in our country.  Those old rules which said to developers: you can build on this site, but only if you build affordable homes for rent. We’re replacing them with new rule. You can build here, and those affordable homes can be available to buy. Yes, from Generation Rent to Generation Buy. Our party, the Conservative party – the party of home ownership in Britain today.

He will claim local authority planning rules demanding certain kinds of “affordable housing” hinder house building and he will promise to introduce more flexibility into the system.

Mr Cameron will also use his first conference speech since his unexpected victory in May’s general election to set out the kind of country he wants to leave behind when he stands down as Tory leader, after 10 years in Downing Street, suggesting he will carry on in office until as close to the 2020 election as possible.

He wants this to be a “defining decade for our country.. the turnaround decade.. one which people will look back on and say, ‘that’s the time when the tide turned… when people no longer felt the current going against them, but working with them’.”