Housing

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

As I hope the hon. Gentleman knows, we lifted the borrowing cap on local councils so they can now borrow to build a generation of new homes. We have opened up the affordable homes programme to councils to bid in for Government money—grant funding—so that they can seek to build social homes. I am more than happy to write to him with details of how his council can access that.

Turning back to ownership, as I said, I wanted to turn “generation rent” into “generation own”, but we also believe that fairness should not stop once people get the keys. That is why the Secretary of State unveiled a new industry pledge last month to bring an end to onerous lease terms, such as the doubling of ground rents. More than 40 leading developers and freeholders have signed that pledge and I encourage others to follow the lead. We are bringing forward legislation to require developers to belong to a new homes ombudsman to champion the rights of home buyers and to ensure that they get the quality build that they rightly expect. We will soon consult on how this will work so that we can ensure that consumers’ problems are resolved faster and more effectively.