In his New Year’s article, David Cameron stressed the Government’s commitment to affordable housing, as part of wider objectives on building on its successes of: ” low inflation, rising employment and growth”. “We remain on the long walk to a greater Britain. We won’t get there overnight. But during 2016, we will make some of our most significant strides yet,” he wrote.
Specifically with regards to home ownership, he referred to the economic and moral outrage that “hard-working young people are priced out of the housing market”, stressing the Conservative Government’s commitment to home ownership, with policies such as its Right To Buy and Help To Buy schemes.
“In the next 5 years, Britain needs to get building. We doubled the annual housing budget in the Spending Review; we will build 200,000 Starter Homes; and if local councils can’t get their act together and build the homes their areas need, we will intervene directly,” he said.
Local authorities can be reassured that the threat is a real one, strengthened by the commencement of the Housing and Planning Bill, expected in the first part of 2016.
It’s clear that we’re approaching a point where councils will be expected to engage with a new era in house building, even if it’s more in connection with enabling developments through the planning process rather than the post-war experience of council building. But affordable homes are on their way, and it’s key that custom build be incorporated in order to create diversity in housing supply.