Housing

Part of Opposition Day — [13th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 4:45 pm on 15th December 2015.

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Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis Minister of State (Communities and Local Government) 4:45 pm, 15th December 2015

I will make a little more progress, and then I will take some more interventions.

Since 2010, we have helped more than 270,000 households buy a home through Government schemes. We have provided more than 270,000 affordable homes to rent, which went beyond our target, nearly one third of which were in London. We are the first Government since the 1980s to finish a term of office with a higher stock of affordable homes than we started with.

I gently remind the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne, who has set out his preference for council house building, that twice as many council homes were built in the past five years of our Government than were built during 13 years of the Labour Government. More new council housing was started in London last year than during the whole of the Labour Government, shocking as that may seem. In all, £20 billion was invested over the course of the last Parliament, achieving the same rate of affordable house building with half the rate of grant as under the Labour Government.

In many ways, that is a clear metaphor for our record on housing: building more for less and doing it faster. We were not afraid of difficult decisions and of doing things differently. That has continued. The right hon. Gentleman mentioned our decision to end lifetime tenancies for new tenants to ensure that we make the best use of social housing based on need and income.