Monday, 29 May 2017

Minister promises long-term plan for homes

The new housing minister has expressed his desire to work with the sector to improve the supply of new homes in the face of a financial crisis.

He also committed to trying to set out a longer-term plan for funding housing, adding that he knew the sector ‘wanted certainty’ over government plans.

Mark Prisk, whose address to the National Housing Federation conference last night was his first since being appointed to the post, said he was open to listening to housing professionals.

‘There will be times when I will not agree with you, but if we work together I think we can make a fundamental difference to what has been a generational problem,’ he said.

He said the government was putting housing at the top of its agenda, and it is ‘committed to building the homes people want’.

Mr Prisk mentioned schemes by Thames Valley Homes and housing association London & Quadrant which cater to a shared ownership market, and encouraged housing associations to diversify to cater for shared ownership and private rented markets.

‘There’s a great opportunity to use your experience to deliver more homes and serve a much wider group of people,’ he said.

He said his focus would be on addressing the supply of new affordable homes, while championing the social benefit that housing can bring.

‘Housing has been a generational challenge – governments of all party persuasions have struggled with it,’ he said.

‘I have no doubt this is a substantial problem, but overcoming this problem is something I look forward to achieving, working with you in the months and, reshuffles pending, the years to come.’

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