Is the Government doing enough to provide additional homes?
The Tories have come under attack after it was revealed that Theresa May’s promise of a council house-building “rebirth” would only provide 25,000 additional homes over five years.
Will this be enough to fix the drastic housing shortage?
During the Prime Minister’s now infamous conference speech, Mrs May talked about the current housing shortage in the UK and promised that it was her “mission to solve this problem” with a £2 billion cash injection. Between coughs, the Prime Minister promised: “a new generation of council houses to help fix our broken housing market.” She also claimed that: “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.”
Mrs May’s pledge to boost funding for affordable housing from £7 billion to £9 billion had been billed as a way to increase housing on a scale not seen for over 50 years.
However, in a press statement released by the Conservative party to clarify the promises made during the speech, it was acknowledged that the extra funding was on top of an existing five-year programme between 2016 and 2021, and that it would only result in a further 25,000 homes.
Commenting on the revelation, housing charity Shelter said: “All new money is welcome, but with over 1.2 million households on waiting lists this is only a fraction of the long-term investment required.”
The Prime Minister had claimed that the policy would “reignite home ownership” and offered a challenge to house builders saying to “build the homes our country needs” on land made available by ministers.
Responding to the comments on Twitter, housing commentator Henry Prior said: “Blaming builders and demanding developers solve the housing crisis is neither plausible nor fair. The misery for millions will continue.”
Labour has since claimed that: “The Tories announced an additional £2 billion for house building, but this will only build a paltry extra 5,000 homes a year. However, the Conservatives have defended the announcement which they say amount to 12,500 more homes a year because all would be built in 2019-20 and 2020-21.”