Chancellor announces "biggest house building programme since 1970s"

  • Osborne pledges 400,000 new homes across England
  • Half of the new homes set to be “starter homes”
  • Treasury to finance house builders to the tune of £7 billion

Chancellor George Osborne has announced plans to implement what he describes as “the biggest house building programme since the 1970s”.

Mr Osborne plans to directly fund housebuilders in building 400,000 homes across England, half of which are described as “starter homes”, as well as a change in planning rules to open up more land for development.

The Chancellor is also putting £7 billion behind the move amid £20 billion of spending cuts to other departments.

In the Commons, Chancellor George Osborne said: “In the end, spending reviews like this come down to choices about what your priorities are.

“And I am clear: in this spending review, we choose housing. Above all, we choose homes that people can buy.

“For there is a crisis of home ownership in our country.”

However Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Minister for Housing and Planning was skeptical. John Healey MP said: “A matter of weeks ago the Housing Minister promised a million more homes, now George Osborne is saying they’ll build 400,000 more.

“George Osborne’s first act as Chancellor in 2010 was to slash housing investment by 60%, and his plans today could still mean 40% less to build the homes we need compared to the investment programme he inherited from Labour.”

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