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Housing: Long-Term Plan

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:33 pm on 9th February 2016.

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Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis Minister of State (Communities and Local Government) 4:33 pm, 9th February 2016

It is a voluntary agreement. The Housing and Planning Bill does not legislate for that. It underpins the agreement by providing the legal ability to pay the housing associations for discounts. Exemptions are outlined in the voluntary agreement, so I suggest the hon. Gentleman reads it. In rural areas, for example, housing associations will be able to use the exemptions. After we reinvigorated the scheme in 2012 for council tenants in London, 536 additional homes were sold in the first year, and 1,139 were built. For clarity, that is two-for-one replacement. That success has the potential to be repeated on a much grander scale. Where buyers can buy, builders will build, and we can support the aspiration of hard-working people. That will be true for right to buy, starter homes and Help to Buy. Those plans are at the heart of our ambition to build 1 million more new homes, but we have made it clear that we must do more in all areas of housing supply.