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Housing and Homes

Part of Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:28 pm on 15th May 2018.

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Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government 4:28 pm, 15th May 2018

I beg to move,

That this House
has considered housing and homes.

I am delighted to be leading this debate in my new role as Housing Secretary. I pay tribute to the reforms so ably led by my predecessor, my right hon. Friend Sajid Javid.

I look forward to working with colleagues on both sides of the House as I consider the next steps on the Government’s housing agenda, but our priority—my priority—remains to build the homes our country needs. It is to deliver on that aim, that ambition of families and of those starting out in life, to have a home that they call their own, to give people security in their homes, and to take further action to combat homelessness and rough sleeping.

I know there is more to do to fix the broken housing market, and to provide the opportunities and, quite simply, the stability that previous generations took for granted and that is being denied to today’s families and young people. It feels unfair, and that is because it is; they are being held back through no fault of their own, and as a result our country is being held back. So we need to act to help people and address the fact that we simply need to build more homes. This Government understand that and understand what is needed: more homes of the right type and quality and in the right places. We must ensure that they are affordable and that the housing market works for all parts of our community.

We are making good progress on housing supply. We have delivered over 1.1 million homes since 2010. In 2016-17 some 217,350 new homes were delivered, the highest number in all but one of the last 30 years. Since 2013 we have helped over 158,000 households on to the housing ladder through our Help to Buy equity loan, and 81% of them were first-time buyers. At the autumn Budget we cut stamp duty for first-time buyers, benefiting 69,000 households to date, and also announced over £15 billion of new financial support for house building over the next five years. This brings our total support for housing to at least £44 billion over this period.

However, I know we need to do more to deliver an average of 300,000 homes a year by the middle of the next decade. It will not be easy, but we are determined to get there, and this requires a major push in three areas: improved planning and faster build-out; delivering infrastructure; and diversifying the house building market.