Javid promises housing White Paper this year

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has pledged to take 'unprecedented steps' to boost housing delivery, including the publication of a new housing White Paper later this year.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid
Communities secretary Sajid Javid

Speaking this morning at the Conservative Party conference, Javid said that housing was his "number one priority" and that tackling the housing crisis was a "moral duty".

"Everyone agrees we need to build more homes. But too many of us object to them being built next to us. We’ve got to change that attitude", he said. 

The minister said that councillors and MPs "must be prepared to make difficult calls, even if they’re unpopular".

He also said that "big developers must release their stranglehold on supply. It’s time to stop sitting on landbanks, delaying build-out: the homebuyers must come first."

Javid said that "we have a responsibility to build more houses".

"A responsibility, not just to our constituents, but to the next generation. It is for that reason that we are going to take unprecedented steps to open up the market".

Firstly, Javid pledged to "bring forward a package of measures to encourage urban regeneration and to build on brownfield land".

He said the government wanted to "radically increase brownfield development and bring life back to abandoned sites. That means delivering high quality housing for families, bringing new energy to our high streets and town centres … abandoned shopping centres being transformed into new communities … and increasing density of housing around stations to build homes that people want to live in".

He also said he would launching a £3 billion Home Builders Fund to help "build more than 225,000 new homes". 

He said the fund would "help us get more SMEs building, encourage custom-builders, and allow developers to build the infrastructure needed to support new housing".

The minister also announced the launch a pilot scheme to accelerate construction on public land.

He said: "We will take government-owned land and partner with contractors and investors to speed up housebuilding. We will create new supply chains using offsite construction.

"And we will encourage new models of building to make houses that people want, more cheaply and at pace. These measures will allow us to get started on 15,000 homes by 2020".

But Javid said these these initiatives were "just the beginning".

"We will publish a housing White Paper later this year, with further significant measures … all helping us towards our ambition for a million new homes by 2020".

Javid said that the Conservative Party was "willing to take difficult decisions, make the hard calls, in order to build a better Britain for everyone".

"If we choose popularity over progress today, we are betraying the voters of tomorrow", he said. 

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