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£2bn pot as May pledges to ‘dedicate’ her premiership to fixing housing crisis

An extra 25,000 social homes could be built under plans announced at the Conservative Party conference.

Theresa May pledged to “dedicate” her premiership to fixing Britain’s housing crisis as she announced an extra £2 billion for affordable housing.

An extra 25,000 social homes could be built under plans announced at the Conservative Party conference.

Homeownership has plummeted over the last decade and the “British dream” of buying a house is increasingly out of reach, the Prime Minister said.

Local authorities and housing associations will be encouraged to bid for money from the new funding pot to support a “new generation of council houses”.

She said: “So whether you’re trying to buy your own, renting privately and looking for more security, or have been waiting for years on a council list, help is on its way.”

Mrs May said solving the crisis would not be “quick or easy” but vowed to “make it my mission to solve this problem”.

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(PA Graphics)

“I will take personal charge of the Government’s response, and make the British dream a reality by reigniting home ownership in Britain once again.”

The money will take the total for the Government’s affordable homes programme to £9.1 billion until 2021.

It will be used to lever a total investment of £5 billion in new public and private housing.

In areas of high demand, such as the South East, bids will be allowed for social rents that are further below market rents.

The Conservatives said a typical subsidy of £80,000 would lead to around an extra 25,000 homes available for social rent, though the figures could vary depending on where the homes are built.

Some 6,800 social rent homes were delivered in 2015-16.

The extra money was welcomed but the Government was warned there was still a long way to go.

Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association, said: “Every housing market is different and the only way councils will be able to significantly deliver the new homes we need is if they are given genuine powers to invest in housing that meets the needs of communities in every town and city across the country.

“This means the ability to borrow to invest in new council housing, to keep 100% of Right to Buy receipts to replace sold homes, certainty over future rents, powers to make sure developers build approved homes in a timely fashion, and adequately funded planning departments so that they can cover the cost of processing applications.”

Campbell Robb, chief executive of the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), said: “Theresa May was right to highlight how the housing crisis is destroying the British dream and today’s top-up for the affordable housing fund is a welcome start to fixing the problem.

“People on low incomes feel the crippling cost of housing acutely and getting the country building homes for low-cost rent is crucial.”

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