David Cameron: Government will directly commission housebuilding

Posted On: 
4th January 2016

The Government will “directly commission” the building of 13,000 houses on public land, David Cameron has announced.

The Prime Minister said the announcement marked a “huge shift in government policy” and would help to boost smaller developers and make sure houses are built more quickly.

The homes will be placed at five sites – in north-west London, Dover, Gosport, Chichester, and Cambridgeshire – where planning permission has already been granted.

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Up to 40% of the directly commissioned houses will be “starter homes”, which are available at a discount of 20% for first-time buyers under the age of 40.

Alongside the commissioning announcement, Mr Cameron said £1.2bn would be put towards a Starter Home Fund which will build a further 30,000 starter homes and 30,000 other properties by the end of the decade.

The Conservatives said they would oversee the creation of 200,000 starter homes by 2020.

Mr Cameron said: "This Government was elected to deliver security and opportunity – whatever stage of life you're at. Nothing is more important to achieving that than ensuring hardworking people can buy affordable homes.

“Today’s package signals a huge shift in government policy. Nothing like this has been done on this scale in three decades – government rolling its sleeves up and directly getting homes built.

“Backed up with a further £1.2bn to get homes built on brownfield sites, it shows we will do everything we can to get Britain building and let more people have the security that comes with a home of their own.”

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said the Government was “pulling out all the stops to keep the country building”.

‘LAYING ON THE RHETORIC’

Labour has already dismissed the news as a reheating of previous announcements.

"In the Autumn Statement a few weeks ago, George Osborne tried to spin his halving of public housing investment as an increase,” said Shadow Housing Minister John Healey.

“Now David Cameron is laying on the rhetoric to hide his failure on new homes. Today's statement promises no new starter homes beyond those already announced.

"With home-ownership down to the lowest level in a generation and fewer homes built over the last five years than under any peacetime government since the 1920s, David Cameron needs to do much more to fix his five years of failure on housing."