Friday, 28 August 2015

Dromey promises ‘new generation’ of social homes

Labour’s plans to build 100,000 new affordable homes would include a return to large scale social home building, according to shadow housing minister Jack Dromey.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls today called on the government to invest the likely £3 billion raised from an auction of the 4G network in building affordable housing. The 100,000 homes this would build would be on top of 25,000 social homes the party has pledged to build from a tax on bank bonuses.

Speaking to Inside Housing after Mr Balls’ speech, Mr Dromey revealed that in total Labour would use its plans to build 40,000 social homes, and 50,000 shared-ownership properties with the remainder being intermediate rent.

‘It is a variety of tenures designed to meet need,’ he stated. ‘There is a commitment that is costed. We believe Britain needs a new generation of social homes.’

He emphasised that the plans, if adopted, would help many people to buy their own home.

Mr Dromey added that the shadow chancellor had sent out ‘the clearest possible message that Labour will put housing centre stage’ by making the issue the focal point of his speech to delegates today.

Mr Ball’s drive to ensure the 4G windfall is spent on housing was welcomed by the sector.

Jo Boaden, chief executive of the Northern Housing Consortium, said: ‘This is a very welcome announcement and further evidence that politicians across the political spectrum are beginning to realise the key role housing can play in leading our economy back into growth.

‘CBI figures show that every £1 spent on construction increases GDP by £2.84. A significant investment like the £3 billion Ed Balls is calling for could therefore deliver a £8.52 billion boost for the economy.’

National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr said: ‘Housing drives growth quickly, but almost all of its benefits are retained within local economies. Local jobs are created, local suppliers used and local people housed. House building lies at the heart of balanced, regional growth.’

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