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Tory 'Starter Home' pledge fails to build a single new home

November 21, 2017 3:45 PM
By Southampton Liberal Democrats

It has emerged that former Prime Minister David Cameron's flagship 2014 'Starter Homes' project, which promised to build 200,000 new discounted homes for first-time buyers, has failed to deliver a single one.

A spokeswoman from the Department for Communities and Local Government said that the Starter Home initiative was part of their 'ambition' to build more homes.

BuildingSimon Stokes, Housing Spokesperson for Southampton Liberal Democrats, says:

"It's outrageous that this scheme, with £2.3 billion behind it committed by the Treasury, has managed to put precisely zero new homes on the market in three years.

"Young people in Southampton and elsewhere natually want to get on with their lives and get a foot on the housing ladder, but the toxic combination of stagnating wages and chronic lack of housing suppy means that on average, a new home cost 7.6 the average annual salary.

"We desperately need the Government to step up and take action, not just talk about their 'ambitions' to do more."

Ratio of median house price to median annual earnings

Prior to the Chancellor's Budget speech tomorrow, Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable commented:

"The government has got to get housing supply moving by acting as a catalyst. This includes the need for more council housing, in addition to investment through new towns and development corporations.

"It is absurd to spend billions on housing benefit and the misnamed help-to-buy scheme, which props up prices and demand without attacking the root of the problem - insufficient supply."

At the last General Election, Liberal Democrats pledged to build 300,000 new homes a year by 2022, including half a million affordable, energy-efficient homes. Liberal Democrats would also lift the borrowing cap on local authorities like Southampton, and increase the borrowing capacity of Housing Associations so that they can build council and social housing.

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