David Cameron is to announce plans for 200,000 new “affordable” homes to buy in his closing speech to the Conservative conference today.
Builders in England will no longer be forced to offer low-cost rented homes in new developments. Instead, they will be able to offer “starter homes” for first-time buyers under 40 as well, at discounted prices.
The Prime Minister will tell Conservative activists he wants to transform “generation rent” into “generation buy”. Those who buy the new “starter homes” will be prevented from selling them for a quick profit under the new policy, which aides say will provide 200,000 new homes by 2020.
“When a generation of hard-working men and women in their 20s and 30s are waking up each morning in their childhood bedrooms – that should be a wake-up call for us,”
Mr Cameron will tell Conservative members in Manchester, “When a generation of hard-working men and women in their 20s and 30s are waking up each morning in their childhood bedrooms – that should be a wake-up call for us. For years, politicians have talked about building ‘affordable homes’ – but the phrase was deceptive. It basically means homes that were only available to rent. What people want are homes that they can actually own.”
He will claim local authority planning rules demanding certain kinds of “affordable housing” hinder house building and he will promise to introduce more flexibility into the system.
Mr Cameron will also use his first conference speech since his Party’s victory in May’s General Election to set out the kind of country he wants to leave behind when he stands down as Conservative leader, after 10 years in Downing Street, suggesting he will carry on in office until as close to the 2020 election as possible.
He wants this to be a “defining decade for our country, the turnaround decade, one which people will look back on and say, ‘that’s the time when the tide turned, when people no longer felt the current going against them, but working with them’.”
After focusing on the economy for the first five years of his premiership, the Prime Minister will say, “over the next five years we will show that the deep problems in our society – they are not inevitable.”
He will talk about the social changes he wants to see – increasing social mobility, tackling extremism, reducing poverty and reforming Britain’s overcrowded prisons. The Conservatives have used their week in Manchester to stress they stand for “security, stability and opportunity”.
The “starter home” scheme was first announced during the general election campaign and will see a discount offered on homes up to £250,000 outside London and £450,000 inside London. Buyers are prevented from selling them on for up to five years.