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Liberal Democrat News 25th November 2011

November 25, 2011 8:26 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats


Unlocking the housing market

The Coalition Government has launched a radical and ambitious Housing Strategy
this week that recognises the importance of kick-starting the housing market. It aims to break the cycle in which lenders won't lend, builders can't build and the buyers can't buy.
The new housing strategy has two main aims: firstly, to help drive local economies, create jobs and provide a much-needed boost to employment and secondly, to spread opportunity in society.

The Strategy will receive £400m of funding and will target those schemes that have stalled through lack of development finance. This will help to unlock the construction of 16,000 homes and support up to 32,000 jobs. It comes on top of a £500m Growing Places fund
for development that the Coalition Government announced earlier this month.

"For too long, millions have been locked out of home ownership,"

said Nick.

"We want to build an economy that works for everyone, one in which people who work hard and play by the rules can expect to own a decent home of their own. This goes right to the heart of what this government is about.
"With this strategy, we will unlock the housing market, get Britain building again, and give many more people the satisfaction and security that comes from stepping over their own threshold."


The measures include:

  • Help for homebuyers: a new build indemnity scheme to 100,000 prospective buyers who currently cannot afford large deposits. Loans on newly built homes will only require a five per cent deposit.
  • Help for house builders: almost £1.8bn cash to develop new affordable homes delivering up to 170,000 new affordable homes over the next four years.
  • Improving fairness in social housing: The government will consult on 'Pay to Stay' proposals so those on household incomes of over £100,000 pa will pay up to market rents to continue living in taxpayer-subsidised homes. Councils can reject housing applications from people who own an acceptable home of their own. And stronger measures to help tackle the 50,000 unlawfully-occupied social homes.
  • Support for greater investment in private rented sector: including encouraging Real Estate Investment Trusts - the globally recognised model that provides low cost access to capital.
  • Action on empty homes: Housing Associations and councils will be able to apply for part of £100m of funding to ensure empty properties are lived in once again, regenerating communities and providing more affordable housing. £50m further funding will tackle some of the worst concentrations of empty homes.
  • Supporting Green Housing: incentives for landlords and homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their properties through the Green Deal at no upfront cost.
  • Supporting older people: A package of measures will help the elderly adapt their homes or move into alternative housing.
  • Supporting tenants: by increasing the Right to Buy discount but with a clear commitment to replace every social home sold.




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