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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 6:12 pm on 15th May 2018.

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Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East 6:12 pm, 15th May 2018

Yes; my hon. Friend anticipates where I was going. We should tell local authorities, and all other public sector bodies, to gain planning permission for homes to be built on their properties. Instead of paying out huge amounts of housing benefit, we should compensate the public bodies directly from the Treasury for the value of that land, which can then be used for public services. We should then ensure that the rents and prices in the properties built are commensurate with the cost of building those properties, over an extended period of time. Once people have been tenants for 10 years, we should give them the right to buy those properties at the price they were 10 years prior, and then reinvest that money into further new housing. I am a great supporter of the right to buy, but one challenge that we face with it is that we need to invest its proceeds in building new housing.

Those are some of the radical solutions; I cannot do them justice in four minutes, but I hope that we can get some answers from my hon. Friend the Minister for Housing. Finally, may I draw the House’s attention to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests?