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Affordable Housing

Volume 599: debated on Monday 14 September 2015

12. What steps his Department has taken to stimulate the building of affordable housing; and what steps he is taking to help young people buy a home for the first time. (901307)

We have already allocated £1 billion to our commitment to deliver a further 275,000 affordable homes by 2020. Since 2010, Government schemes such as Help to Buy and the right to buy have helped more than 230,000 people buy a home. As my hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning said, we will build 200,000 starter homes exclusively for first-time buyers.

In fact, the right-to-buy scheme has raised private rents and cut social housing supply, but the Government want to force housing associations to sell homes during a housing shortage. Should the Government not look at the example from north of the border and the Scottish Government? Scrapping the right to buy has seen nearly 35,000 social rented houses built since 2007.

The residents of Scotland have the same aspirations as the residents in all parts of the United Kingdom. They want to own their own home, and the Government are committed to giving them the chance to realise that aspiration. We are doing that by extending the right to buy, and it is a matter of regret that in Scotland they are going the other way.

What specific impact is the new homes bonus having on the building of homes across the country in order to meet local needs such as those of young people?

First, the funds that come with the new homes bonus allow the financing of some of the infrastructure that is required—reasonably—when homes are built. Secondly, because of that, the plans that are coming forward for adoption by authorities have a significantly higher level of house building than was the case before the reforms were introduced.