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Housing Ladder

Volume 672: debated on Monday 24 February 2020

We recently published a consultation on First Homes, our exciting new scheme to give a 30% discount to local first-time buyers, which will help tens of thousands of people across the country to buy their first home. This will add to the 600,000 households already supported by Government home-ownership schemes since 2010.

I thank the Secretary of State for that reply. Being able to get on the property ladder is a particularly big issue in my constituency—South Cambridgeshire—because property prices are so high, so I very much welcome the First Homes initiative. Can the Secretary of State tell me whether the First Homes initiative will boost the supply of new homes, or will it primarily change the tenure of existing affordable housing schemes?

We hope it will do both. It will increase the supply of new homes by building popular support for new developments, but I completely accept that the housing challenges we face as a country are primarily supply-side. There is only so much that can be done through new demand-side reforms such as First Homes, which is exactly why, as a new Government, we will be taking forward important supply-side reforms such as those in my forthcoming White Paper on the planning system to unlock more land for development and create a simpler, faster and cheaper planning system.