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Housing: Construction

Volume 493: debated on Wednesday 3 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she plans to take to ensure that the planned number of new homes are built during the next 12 months. (276632)

The Housing Green Paper, “Homes for the Future: more affordable, more sustainable”, published in July 2007, set out the Government’s ambition to increase housing supply, in order to bring greater stability and affordability to the housing market.

In the past year, a range of measures have been announced to support the construction industry and boost housing supply. These measures included: bringing forward £550 million of funding from 2010-11 to maintain the supply of new social rented dwellings; £400 million to invest in new social housing over the 2009-11 two year period; an additional £775 million to support construction activities, including regeneration, decent homes and social rented housing over the next two years; and housing market renewal pathfinders were awarded £311 million for 2009-10 to support a range of activities, including new build.

Last month, the 2009 Budget announced a further £1 billion of additional resources for housing which included a £400 million kickstart housing delivery fund to restart stalled construction activity across the country. This should help developers retain jobs and skills, and boost the supply of homes over the next year—benefiting first time buyers and social tenants. The Budget also allocated £100 million over two years to enable local authorities to deliver new social housing on land they already own that can be developed only by them.

In order to compliment this investment, the Government are taking a range of measures to ensure that the housing sector grows strongly over the longer term. These measures will: ensure sufficient land for development, through housing allocations in local plans and further action on public sector land, supported by a responsive and efficient planning system; deliver effective and coordinated infrastructure provision; promote a strong and diverse house building sector; continue to ensure the increased long-term supply of social and affordable housing; and. ensure a proportionate approach to land-value capture and cumulative regulation. The Government will report on progress at the 2009 pre-Budget report.