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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 9th April 2019.

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Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 5:30 pm, 9th April 2019

My right hon. Friend, with his usual wisdom, has prefaced the part of my speech I am moving on to. He is quite right: we believe that modern methods of construction hold enormous potential not only to produce more homes but to produce them faster and better. I recently visited a factory in Walsall, in the west midlands, where Accord is building 1,000 homes a year using modern methods of construction. So good are the environmental standards that those homes for social rent have lower arrears, because people can afford to heat them.

That is something we are backing through our £4.5 billion home building fund, £2.5 billion of which is to champion small and medium-sized enterprises, custom builders and more diverse builders to get modern methods of construction and other cutting-edge tech into the mainstream. The fund has already allocated all of the original £1 billion of short-term funding. Over 94% of the funding contracted to date has gone to SME builders. We expect the fund to deliver more than 30,000 homes—around 5,000 more than the original target.