David Cameron is due to announce that the Government is to, ‘directly commission,’ the construction of up to 13,000 additional homes on public land.
This announcement will make the Government accountable for developments, alongside assisting smaller firms and speeding up house building, the Prime Minister stated.
‘Rolling up sleeves’
Mr Cameron said that the cabinet was now, ‘rolling its sleeves up,’ and ‘getting homes built.’
However, shadow housing minister John Healey believes that the Prime Minister was, ‘laying on the rhetoric to hide his failure on new homes.’
Downing Street has called the move a, ‘radical new policy shift,’ with 13,000 homes due to be built on 5 publicly-owned sites in 2016. Up to 40% of these will be affordable starter homes. In addition, there is a target of 200,000 starter homes, to be made available for first-time buyers under 40 at discounted prices-by the year 2020.
The pilot for the scheme will begin on five primary sites, namely:
- Brownfield land at Old Oak Common, north-west London
- Former Connaught Barracks, Dover
- Old MOD land in Northstowe, Cambridgeshire
- Ex-hospital land in Lower Graylingwell, Chichester
- MoD site at Daedlus Waterfront, Gosport
Government to deliver 13,000 new homes on public land
The Prime Minister believes that the announcement signals, ‘a huge shift in Government policy.’ He said that, ‘nothing like this has been done on this scale in three decades-Government rolling its sleeves up and directly getting homes built.’
Communities Secretary Grey Clark said that the Government was, ‘pulling out all the stops to keep the country building.’
‘Today’s radical new approach will mean the Government will directly commission small and up-and-coming companies to build thousands of new homes on sites right across the country. This, and the £1.2bn new starter homes fund will help thousands of people to realise their dream of owning their own homes,’ he added.
With this said, Labour’s shadow housing minister Mr Healy said that home ownership was at its lowest level in a generation. Healy stated, ‘in the Autumn Statement a few weeks ago, George Osborne tried to spin his halving of public housing investment as an increase. Now David Cameron is laying on the rhetoric to hide his failure on new homes.’
‘Today’s statement promises no new starter homes beyond those already announced. David Cameron needs to do much more to fix his five years of failure on housing,’ Healy concluded.