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First Time Buyers

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 6th June 2007.

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Photo of Ashok Kumar Ashok Kumar PPS (Rt Hon Hilary Benn, Secretary of State), Department for International Development

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she is taking to mitigate the effect of increases in house prices for first time buyers.

Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Minister of State (Department of Communities and Local Government) (Housing and Planning)

Kate Barker's Review of Housing Supply recommended that a step-change in housing supply was necessary to address worsening affordability due to a long term undersupply of housing. Government's response, published in 2005, set out an ambition to increase housing supply to 200,000 per annum by 2016.

Good progress has been made, with supply increasing from a low of around 130,000 new homes in 2001-02, to over 180,000 in 2005-06. We recognise however, that we still need to go further to address demand, and are determined to maintain momentum.

Since publishing the Barker Response, we have been working to implement the measures it announced. Among other achievements, we have published a new Planning Policy Statement 3, announced a series of new Growth Points, announced proposals that all new homes should be built to zero carbon standards by 2016, and set up a National Housing and Planning Advice Unit.

In addition our HomeBuy scheme will help people on modest incomes to get a step on the housing ladder. The Government's HomeBuy scheme will expand the opportunity for home ownership to over a 120,000 households between 2005 and 2010. In 2006-08 we are investing £970 million through the National Affordable Housing programme to deliver 35,000 new low cost home ownership properties.

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