May announces extra affordable homes cash and urges councils to bid for the money

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced an extra £2 billion of funding for the government's affordable housing budget, using her set-piece conference speech to pledge to 'reignite' home ownership in Britain by 'getting government back into the business of building houses'.

Theresa May: Prime Minister has pledged to reignite home ownership
Theresa May: Prime Minister has pledged to reignite home ownership

In her speech to the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, May said that the government will invest an additional £2 billion in affordable housing, "taking the government’s total affordable housing budget to almost £9 billion".

The Prime Minister said that the government would encourage councils as well as housing associations to bid for the money, and pledged to provide certainty over future rent levels.

May added that the government would, "in those parts of the country where the need is greatest, allow homes to be built for social rent, well below market level".

"Whether you’re trying to buy your own home, renting privately and looking for more security, or have been waiting for years on a council list, help is on the way," May told the conference.

She said that she would take personal charge of the government’s response to the housing crisis, acknowledging that the June election result showed that previous housing measures are "not nearly enough".

She said: "It won’t be quick or easy, but as Prime Minister I am going to make it my mission to solve this problem. I will take personal charge of the government’s response, and make the British dream a reality by reigniting home ownership in Britain once again."

The Prime Minister told the conference that the number of new homes being delivered each year has increased significantly since 2010, and that the government’s housing white paper has set out plans to increase it further, ensuring councils release more land for housing, and "giving them new powers to ensure that developers actually build homes once they’re given planning permission to do so".

The government, she continued, has introduced schemes such as Help to Buy, "to support people who are struggling right now", as well as measures intended to give the increasing number of families who rent from a private landlord more security.

May also told delegates that she wanted to send "the clearest possible message to our housebuilders".

"We, the government, will make sure the land is available," May said. "We’ll make sure our young people have the skills you need. In return, you must do your duty to Britain and build the homes our country needs."


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