Liberal Democrats set out plans to build a million new affordable homes by 2020

June 19, 2007 11:29 AM
Housing sign

Houses are becoming impossible for many people to afford

Cheadle MP Mark Hunter welcomed the publication of radical proposals by the Liberal Democrats to tackle the severe shortage of affordable and social housing.

Last week Sir Menzies Campbell said Britain needed a revolution in housing. He unveiled proposals for building one million new socially rented, affordable and low cost homes by 2020. The Liberal Democrat plans to achieve this aim and tackle the housing crisis include:

• Building 100,000 new affordable, social and low cost homes each year

• Devolving and reforming the planning system to make decisions faster and more effective for all parties

• Introducing equity mortgages to ensure that affordable housing is built and maintained for the benefit of generations of buyers

• Building smaller social housing developments which are integrated with private housing

• Cutting VAT on housing renovations and repairs

Speaking after the policy announcement by Sir Campbell, Mr Hunter said: "There are about eight thousand families on the waiting list for Council Houses in the Stockport area, yet fewer and fewer social rented homes are being built. The number nationally has halved since Labour came to power.

"Meanwhile houses to buy are getting ever less affordable. House prices here in the Stockport have grown by 7.92 per cent in 2006 while earnings have only grown by 4.2 per cent. An average house now costs nearly eight times the total average earnings in our area. There's no way most young people, even many young couples, can afford that. Many local young people are being left stranded, unable to afford to get even a foot on the housing ladder as prices soar further and further out of their reach.

"These new proposals from the Liberal Democrats respond to both these problems. They would deliver the UK's most ambitious home-building programme in over a quarter of a century. 100,000 new social, low cost and affordable houses every year for 10 years to benefit those in housing need.

"This is the housing revolution that people in the Cheadle area desperately need."

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