David Cameron will announce “radical” plans later to directly commission the building of more than 10,000 new homes. The Prime Minister is expected to claim the move will be the biggest use of such a policy since Margaret Thatcher and Michael Heseltine sparked the regeneration of London’s Docklands in the 1980s.
Downing Street said the policy will see homes being built at a faster rate, with smaller building firms that are unable to take on big projects able to begin construction on Government sites which already have planning permission.
The plan will be backed by an extra £1.2bn to prepare brownfield sites for the building of 30,000 starter homes over the next five years.
These will be available to first time buyers under 40 for at least a 20% discount.
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The PM said: “This Government was elected to deliver security and opportunity – whatever stage of life you’re at.
“Nothing is more important to achieving that than ensuring hard-working people can buy affordable homes.
“Today’s package signals a huge shift in government policy.
“Nothing like this has been done on this scale in three decades – government rolling its sleeves up and directly getting homes built.”
The construction of the first wave of up to 13,000 directly commissioned homes – 40% of which will be starter homes – will start this year in Dover, Chichester, Gosport, Northstowe in Cambridgeshire and Old Oak Common in northwest London.
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As well as the 30,000 new starter homes, the £1.2bn will fast track the creation of up to 30,000 market rate homes on 500 new brownfield sites by 2020.
The plans form part of the Government’s commitment to build 200,000 starter homes before the end of the Parliament.
Shadow housing minister John Healey said the PM was “laying on the rhetoric to hide his failure on new homes”.
He said: “Today’s statement promises no new starter homes beyond those already announced.
“With home-ownership down to the lowest level in a generation and fewer homes built over the last five years than under any peacetime government since the 1920s, David Cameron needs to do much more to fix his five years of failure on housing.”